Govt resettles bigwigs

26 October 2018 Author   Eliaser Ndeyanale

Several SWAPO Party stalwarts, deputy ministers, traditional leaders, governors, former governors, former ambassadors, local authority councillors and permanent secretaries received land under the resettlement programme that started in 1991, the list of land reform beneficiaries shows.Several SWAPO Party stalwarts, deputy ministers, traditional leaders, governors, former governors, former ambassadors, local authority councillors and permanent secretaries received land under the resettlement programme that started in 1991, the list of land reform beneficiaries shows.

Some of the beneficiaries are politicians and senior public service officials who earn enough to qualify for a loan from a commercial institution, such as the Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) to buy farms, but opted to get free land from government, depriving the poor masses, who are the intended beneficiaries of the program.
Among those resettled is former deputy lands minister, Martin Kapewasha, who also served as Namibia’s High Commissioner to South Africa. He is resettled at farm Monty No 329 in the Kunene region with Chief Herman Iipumbu of Uukwambi.
Also resettled in the Kunene region is former Outapi Constituency Councillor Simon Tataati Shileka, Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism Bernadette Jagger, former Omusati Governor Sackey Kayone and Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Ester Anna Nghipondoka.
 Both Kayone and Hipondoka have been resettled in the mountainous region since 2003.
Nghipondoka, who was Deputy Director of Education in Oshikoto Region then, said she met the criteria when she was resettled in 2004.
In the Erongo Region, the Ministry of Land Reform resettled Gerson Kamatuka, who is the Deputy Director of the Marginalized Communities Division in the Office of the President at farm Leivenberg no 255. 
He is also a former local authority councillor for the City of Windhoek. 
The ministry also resettled the late liberation struggle icon Andimba Toivo ya Toivo at farm Gross Otjimue no 220 in 2013. The family left the farm this year and is now resettled in the Omaheke Region. 
Chief Manasse Zeraeua, of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority, is one of the beneficiaries of farm Kamombonde in the Erongo Region which is also home to former Deputy Minister of Defence, Victor Simunja, who got resettled there in 2017.
Former SWAPO combatant Elisa Haulyondjaba got resettled in the Oshikoto Region where Deputy Minister of Justice Lidwina Shapwa is resettled. 
The late chief of the Namibian Defence Force, Lieutenant General Jerobeam ‘Dimo’ Hamaambo, was one of the recipients of a resettlement farm in the Otjozondjupa Region, where he was resettled in 2002, the same year that he died. 
Hamaambo spent 23 years as the commander of SWAPO’s military wing, People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN).
He was the Namibian Defence Force's chief since its formation shortly after independence in 1990. 
Lieutenant Colonel Martin Nashandi and one of the pioneers of the liberation struggle, the late Lameck Ithete, were resettled in Otjozondjupa in 2007 and 2003, respectively.
The ministry also resettled Namibia’s Ambassador to Brazil, Samuel Nuuyoma, who served as Otjozondjupa Regional Governor since December 2012 - April 2015.
Also resettled in Otjozondjupa are SWAPO stalwart Kalomoh Ndeulikufa and the former Deputy Inspector-General of NamPol, Fritz Nghishililwa, who is now a senior law lecturer at the University of Namibia. Nghishililwa was resettled in 2006.
Former Deputy Minister of Basic Education, Clara Bohitile received a resettlement farm in Omaheke in 1999. Others who are resettled in Omaheke are Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu, Environmental Commissioner Teofilus Nghitila, Andimba Toivo ya Toivo’s widow, Vicki, who is also special advisor to Labour Minister Erkki Nghimtina.
She also serves on the Judicial Service Commission, the body that recommends the appointment of judges to the president.
Chief Sam Kambazembi, of the Kambazembi royal house, Angelica Sinvula, who is Deputy Director in the Directorate of Asset, Cash and Debt Management in the Ministry of Finance, are some of the beneficiaries of resettlement farms in the Omaheke Region. 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN) Western Diocese Bishop, Veikko Munyika and Okurukambe Constituency Councillor, Raphael Makaleng, are also among the beneficiaries of resettlement farms.
Others are businessman Amos Shiyuka and International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Christine //Hoebes. 
Shiyuka refused to comment when approached for comment on Thursday. 
Former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Vitalis Ankama, is one of the beneficiaries of farm Anias in the Khomas Region, where he has been resettled since 2002. 
SWAPO veteran politician Helao Shityuwete and his late comrade David Meroro also were resettled in the Khomas Region.
The office of the Ombudsman recently recommended that resettlement farms must not be allocated to those who earn N$360,000 per annum or more. 
“The employed and politicians should not benefit from the resettlement programme,” the office of the Ombudsman said. 
Nghishililwa defended his resettlement saying he is a war veteran of the liberation struggle who joined the struggle in 1971.
“I was a SWAPO soldier close to 10 years. I fought for Namibia and not for Ovamboland. I started working at an advanced age and I fit in the criteria. Why should I apply for a loan which I can’t pay back?”
Simunja said he opted for a resettlement farm because he is in retirement and his chances of getting a loan from a financial institution were slim.
Current Cabinet members are conspicuous by their absence on the resettlement list. 
Ombudsman John Walters told the Windhoek Observer on Thursday that if members of the public knows of any minister who has been resettled they should approach his office with the name of the farm and the region in which such minister has been resettled.
He also expressed doubt whether the ministry had provided him with the whole list because at the onset, the Ministry of Land Reform was refusing to release the list saying it would incite tribalism.
“Looking at the list, I saw there are portions of farms that have not been allocated to anyone. I will ask the ministry why those portions have not been allocated to the people while there are so many people who have applied for resettlement farms but could not be resettled. 
“What I want to know is the number of farms in the hands of ministries, like how many farms are owned by the Ministry of Land as well as by the Ministry of Agriculture so I can give a bigger picture of the numbers of farms in the hands of government,” he said.
Political commentator, Graham Hopwood, said government should not have resettled people who have well-paid jobs and that the resettlement programme was supposed to benefit marginalized people. 
“I think the criteria to acquire a resettlement farm were never tight enough on who should benefit and who should not. I think people with well-paid jobs should be encouraged to apply for an affirmative action loan,” he said.

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