2. March 2015

Over 35 000 land applications submitted

THE call for a nationwide 'land mass action' by suspended Swapo youth leader Job Amupanda saw more than 35 000 applications submitted to local authorities on Friday. That is with the exception of Windhoek.

“We also want to eat, if you are eating alone without us, we will put sand in your food,” were the words echoed by Amupanda after announcing that Friday's mass land applications went smoothly at most of the towns.

Amupanda, who was in Okahandja on Friday in support of residents there, said the youth from other towns requested that they also be afforded the opportunity to apply for land in their towns under the banner of “Affirmative Repositioning”.

Landless Namibians countrywide submitted their applications for land in their respective towns, despite threats by Swapo secretary general Nangolo Mbumba who sent a circular last week saying members of the party who dared apply for land or support the movement will be suspended.

Land activist Dimbulukeni Nauyoma said the process at all towns has been orderly with no violent incidences reported.

Swakopmund received 3 500 while at Walvis Bay 9 500 applications were submitted. The northern towns of Ondangwa, Ongwediva and Oshakati each received more than 2 500 applications.

In Okahandja, residents were flocking to the town council offices with their forms, and the town has so far recorded 4 000, while Keetmanshoop had 800, Otjiwarongo 2 000, Tsumeb 2 500 and Rundu 300.

Although Windhoek municipality had initially refused to accept applications, 2 500 were received.

These are preliminary figures, and they are yet to be confirmed independently.

“We are still receiving information but we are delighted that young people have spoken. It is really not our issue but a national issue,” Nauyoma said.

He said statistics from the rest of the towns will be communicated as soon as possible as they have only received results from 15 out of 40 towns.

During a press briefing in Windhoek yesterday, Amupanda said they were proud of the youth for redefining Namibia and coming out in large numbers.

“Despite the threats, propaganda and lies, you came out in large numbers,” he said adding that it was never about him, Kambala or Nauyoma but about “the landless youth”.

Amupanda said those against “Affirmative Repositioning” have only themselves to blame and the awakening of the youth will never stop or be reversed. Despite peaceful mass action reported in all the towns, some local authorities, including Rundu and Windhoek, allegedly refused to cooperate, although these misunderstandings were later resolved. Amupanda said he had to convince the City of Windhoek to cooperate after they refused to accept the applications. They suggested that people apply individually.

City of Windhoek's spokesperson Joshua Amukugo told The Namibian that they had received a letter from Amupanda stating that all 50 local authorities in the country must cooperate with the mass land applications on Friday, except Windhoek, since the city's mass action already took place last year. However, land hungry residents still flocked to the municipality on Friday to submit their applications under Amupanda's movement, a situation the municipality said it was not prepared for.

“Based on that letter, we were not prepared to accept such an overwhelming number of applications on Friday and we asked residents to submit their applications individually as per the normal procedures,” said Amukugo.

He added that they were still struggling to handle last year's 14 000 applications. “We are sitting with the acknowledgement letters from last year's applications and they are already taking up too much space, because we do not have the resources to post them as it would cost us extra money,” he said.

He stated that on Friday, over 1 000 people flocked to the municipality, with some threatening to break down the office door of mayor Muese Kazapua. The Namibian learnt that the group was being instigated by RDP youth leader Monica Nambelela, who stated last week that she was in full support of the “Affirmative Repositioning” movement.

Nambelela said they tried to force their way in because the City was refusing to cooperate. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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