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Namibian youth plan more land grabs

19 January 2015, 09:53

Windhoek - A group of the ruling Swapo party's youth wing who recently initiated a land grab announced on Sunday they would take further action.

"This week [on] Thursday we will announce further practical steps and paths of the 'affirmative repositioning' programme for the coming months," Nauyoma Dimbulukeni of the "Land Activists" group said in a statement issued on Sunday.

"We will still decide if we call for a press conference or distribute a statement," Dimbulukeni said.

"Land [was] the basis of our liberation struggle. The land remains with the settler[s] and the elites while the majority of our people remain landless ...," the statement said.

It added that the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) had allegedly started registering "landless soldiers in its bases," which the group welcomed as a "progressive step".

The NDF however denied this.

"The Namibia Defence Force has not registered any soldiers for land," Colonel Monica Sheya, spokesperson of the NDF said.

Dimbulukeni together with Job Amupanda, a prominent member of the ruling Swapo party's youth wing, started the Land Activists' group two months ago.

In early November, Amupanda initiated a land grab with five people in the lush Windhoek suburb Kleine Kuppe. They cleared bush on an unserviced plot and erected a pole with a handwritten notice stating "Erf 2014, repositioning".

Amupanda resigned from his position of information and mobilisation secretary of the Swapo Youth League.

He was suspended from the party shortly afterwards and remains suspended.

Amupanda then called on young people to formally apply for a plot at the Windhoek Municipality.

About 14 000 people heeded his call and filled in the application forms Amupanda had distributed via e-mail. These were handed in at the municipality.

Amupanda gave the Windhoek municipality until July 2015 to make plots available.

A month ago in mid-December 2014, several thousand people living in shacks peacefully occupied unserviced land at Namibia's major coastal holiday town of Swakopmund land.

This action was organised by the political party Christian Democratic Voice (CDV) under its funder and president Gotthard Kandume.

Kandume said the occupants had started to erect houses on the land.



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