PROMINENT clergyman from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia, Ngeno Nakamhela of Windhoek’s Inner City parish warned Namibians against taking peace for granted, stating that without it no development can take place.
He made the remarks in an interview with Confidente after he was asked what his church’s position on escalating tensions regarding the land issue in Namibia.
He said the peace that the country is enjoying today should not be ruined and urged those that are asking to be resettled based on regionalism and ethnicity to be sensitive on the land issue.
“We should not take peace for granted. We should also not disturb the peace we are enjoying. We should look for what is best to us,” he said. He added: “People should be sensitive about the land question.”
Nakamhela further urged people not to harm one another because of land. “Land is a gift for all of us from God. It is not for a certain group or party; we need to share it in the spirit of togetherness. Let’s keep the culture of harmony,” he implored.
Former head of Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), Maria Kapere has said the church must address the land issue from an ethical and social economic perspective.
She suggests that people who possess many hectares of land (more than 500 hectares) must give a portion to the Government for resettlement and preference should be given to workers that are working on those farms.
“There must be proper policies and subsidies provided. The willing buyer willing seller policy must be amended. No one should have more than one title deed for land,” she said.
Kapere said that in 2014 when she was with CCN, the organisation wanted to make these suggestions but some bishops did not want to be involved in the land issue because they believed that it would create a perception that they were anti- Government.
Protestant Unity Church of Namibia (Oruuano) church Bishop Wylie Upi said Government should listen to what people are saying especially cries from the descendants of the victims of genocide.
A retired bishop who did not want to be mentioned has warned that tensions caused by the land issue could escalate if Government fails to address the issue amicably. He urged traditional leaders to stop demanding ancestral land, as Namibian laws do not make provision for such claims.
“So if everybody starts claiming that my forefather was buried at Warmbad and I should go and have ritual there, it might have a catastrophic ending,” he cautioned.
Upi however added that until such a time that Government holds a land conference resolution pertinent to ancestral land, the claims will remain valid.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015