INSULTS, disinformation and smear campaigns, it seems, were meant to divert this week’s second land conference from core issues to personal attacks.
It’s a pity that key formidable players in the raging land debate chose to boycott the historic conference which will potentially have everlasting policy decisions on the socio-economic and political life of every Namibian long after their personal fights with the current government leadership has ended.
Boycotting the land conference is self-depriving and self-defeating for any interested party which denies them a golden opportunity to air their voices and help influence the policy decisions of the land conference. The logic behind the boycott can only deprive political and pressure groups and their followers an opportunity to be heard and influence the outcome of the conference, which is tantamount to shooting one’s self in the foot.
The core focus of this important land conference was reduced to insults and disinformation campaigns after certain parties, for reasons best known to themselves, decided to disseminate the 1991 first land conference resolutions as the purported resolutions government has already made for the second land conference.
Such parties have gone on a hullabaloo trying to convince all and sundry that the outcome of the second land conference has already been predetermined and the conference was nothing more than a ruse and a Swapo rubber stamping event.
However, the truth is that this racket is nothing more than political grand standing by those who have a vendetta against the Hage Geingob administration.
While Namibia is a democratic country and the disgruntled parties have a right to participate or decline to partake in the land conference what is sad though is how they have failed dismally to distinguish between their personal issues they have against President Geingob and matters of national interest that concern every Namibian regardless of political affiliation.
The essence of the land debate should be practical, realistic and free from being driven by emotions. The debate should not be retaliatory or turn productive land into unproductive land and we should therefore learn from our past mistakes when government expropriated economically productive land which led to job losses, loss of much needed foreign revenue as well as leaving farm workers destitute.
We should avoid a similar retaliatory approach when in 2002, farm Osombahe Nord (No1019), Farm Amerongen, Farm de Hoop (No 110), Farm Omitara (No109), Farm de Hoop North (No 129), Farm Kalkpan (No 314) – all in the Omaheke Region, part of Omitara West (No 203) and Farm Ongombo West (No 56) – both in the Khomas Region – were identified for expropriation.
The criteria for expropriation should be based on productive use of land and making Namibia food self-sufficient. It should not send a wrong message to the international community that Namibia does not respect property rights.
The expropriation of the eight farms clearly was retaliatory due to labour disputes and in the end destroyed economically productive farms like Ongombo West which used to produce and export flowers to Europe and earned the country the much needed foreign revenue.
The expropriation of Ongombo seemed retaliatory because of a labour dispute between the farm owners and four staff members who were dismissed because they stayed away from work for months and were later dismissed.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015