Farmers Vow ‘Tooth And Nail’ Fight Against Expropriation
Christof Maletsky, The Namibian, allAfrica.com, Jun 3
A DEFIANT group of commercial farmers whose land Government has identified for expropriation claim they are victims of immoral politicking and will fight it tooth and nail.
Government served some 15 white farmers with expropriation notices and gave them 14 days to respond.
Sigi Eimbeck from the Namibia Farmers Support Initiative (NFSI) told the media yesterday that the planned expropriation had nothing to do with land reform but was a campaign strategy by Lands Minister Hifikepunye Pohamba.
The Minister, who is also Swapo Vice President, was elected as the party’s candidate for the November presidential elections over the weekend.
“We should not be deterred or discouraged,” Eimbeck told farmers affected by the expropriation plans.
NFSI claims that the 15 identified farms were worth around N$180 million and generated an annual turnover of N$10 million.
In addition, they claimed that around 2 250 farm workers were about to loose their livelihood.
The farmers alleged that Pohamba wanted to use the farms as “payment or gratification” for those who campaigned and supported his race for the presidential candidacy.
Pohamba has denied allegations that he used the land reform programme for his political campaign.
Last week the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) wrote to the Government requesting an extension of the 14-day deadline.
The letter was also seeking clarity on certain issues.
According to the farmers, the law was not being followed correctly and they contend that the process as a whole lacks transparency while Government is not clear on the meaning of “public interest and just compensation”, nor the criteria being used to identify the farms.