Opuwo-The Governor of Kunene Region Angelika Muharukua says she has no hand in the prolonged ongoing land disputes between Owambo and Kaoko communal farmers, hence has not organised any fence-cutting protest at Omakange as alleged.
“Tell them Muharukua is not involved and I am not going to cut fences. I am a clean person and am not involved in traditional boundaries. My job is to unite people, especially those in Kunene,” said Muharukua.
She said as a regional political head she is however entitled to know where the traditional boundaries in Kunene end.
“And that I will only know if I consult the traditional authority. How am I going to survive if I do not speak to traditional leaders? We cannot sideline them,” said Muharukua.
Speaking in an interview with New Era, she said the land disputes at Omakange have been blown out of proportion and advised the concerned groups to observe the gazetted traditional boundaries.
A group of traditional leaders from Kaokoland and their subjects on Friday protested against the illegal grabbing and fencing of their land by some Oshiwambo-speaking traditional leaders.
In a petition addressed to President Hage Geingob, the protestors claim large tracks of land have been fenced off, but are now abandoned without being utilised for about five years, at their expense.
“We know that many of the farms have been empty for three to five years and grass has grown to an extent, and our cattle which used to graze in the corridors of the farms are dying and starving of hunger because they have no grazing pastures. And on the other hand government supplies drought relief food to feed the poor people whose cattle are dying because of this discriminatory and favouring attitude,” read their petition.
The group ask that such farms be removed to relieve the grazing area in East Kaoko so that farmers can herd their livestock without being harassed and arrested.
The group has given the president 60 days to look into their plight.
Land disputes which have dragged on almost since independence have been addressed at various regional platforms both in Kunene and Omusati regions, yet no amicable solution has been found.