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Swapo warns against land mass action

24 February 2015, 06:54

Windhoek - The ruling Swapo party has warned that planned youth mass action this week - by applying for plots for housing - might disrupt peace and stability in Namibia.

"The position of the Swapo Party on this issue is that these efforts to disrupt peace and stability in our country must be rejected," Swapo general secretary Nangolo Mbumba said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The nation is aware of the ongoing campaigns to instigate the landless people against the government structures and eventually against the Swapo party.

"We all know about the scarcity of land in the country, we all need land, but this must not blind us to destroy our country through either short-sightedness or hidden political motives."

Mbumba called on all "Swapo cadres at all levels" and all peace-loving citizens not to allow themselves to "be used in this scheme and not associate themselves with this divisive project".

Mbumba further announced that the government was working on a "more equitable" land acquisition programme.

Also read: Namibia land grabbers vow to continue

"This is done in order to enable landless Namibians to acquire land legally and peacefully without disrupting law and order."

Last November a member of the Swapo party and its youth wing, Job Amupanda, mobilised about 14 000 young people in the capital Windhoek to submit written applications for a plot to build a house.

Amupanda has since then called for countrywide applications by young Namibians at all municipalities for this week Friday and received police approval for this mass action.

Affirmative Repositioning

A few days before his mass action, Amupanda illegally occupied an unserviced plot in the lush suburb of Kleine Kuppe for two days, calling his action "Affirmative Repositioning (AR)".

Directly afterwards he resigned from his position as Information Secretary of the Swapo Youth League, but the Swapo top leadership temporarily suspended him from the party. His suspension is still in force to date.

Last weekend at a Swapo meeting at Keetmanshoop in southern Namibia, its regional co-ordinator Mathew Mumbala warned that any members joining the mass application campaign on Friday would be suspended.

"Any party member coordinating the AR mass land applications on 27 February suspends him/herself from the party," Mumbala was quoted in Monday's daily The Namibian.

In reaction to this statement, Swapo Youth League chairperson of the southern Karas Region, Bernard Shimanya, on Monday said Mumbala's threats were "baseless and empty".

"We urge all Namibian youth to apply for [urban] land come Friday; the land issue must not be politicised - we are all Swapo members and it doesn't mean that by applying for land we are against our party." Shimanya said.



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