Saturday, September 29, 2018

Traditional Authorities, Civil Society Withdraw From Land Conference
by Sakeus Iikela

Traditional authorities, civil society withdraw from land conference

THE land conference was hit by significant withdrawals Thursday morning when various traditional authorities and civil society groups announced that they would not be attending the land summit starting next Monday in Windhoek.

At a media briefing in Katutura this morning, the Ovaherero, Nama and Damara traditional authorities announced that they would not be going to the land conference, which Ovaherero Traditional Authority paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro labeled “a sham not worth attending”.

At the same event, the Namibian NGO Forum Trust (Nangof) also announced that it would not be attending the land conference.

Shortly afterwards the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement, in an announcement by its leader, Job Amupanda, said that it would also be snubbing the week-long land summit.

Thursday's withdrawals follow Wednesday's announcement by Landless People's Movement (LPM) leader, Bernadus Swartbooi, that his organisation would not be attending the land conference.

The withdrawals come in the wake of President Hage Geingob stating at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that land conference preparations had been an “inclusive consultative process” and that government had made a “concerted effort to include as many stakeholders as possible”.

Reports overnight had it that vice president Nangolo Mbumba had tried to stave off the withdrawals. 

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