Affirmatives question Harambee’s land plan
Rebel rouser and youngest Dean at the University of Namibia, Affirmative Repositioning founder and firebrand Job Amupanda together with the other founding members of the organisation, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala this week threatened to descend on Parliament Gardens with the support of close to 5000 youthful activists if plans for the construction of the controversial N$2 billion Parliament building go ahead.
Amupanda made the promise in response to a recent announcement by His Excellency, Dr. Hage Geingob that he intends to service 26,000 plots, as part of the eighth pillar of his audacious Harambee Prosperity Plan.
Making the call this week, the trio strongly came out in attack of the construction of the new parliament building. “It was also announced by the AR that on 16 June 2016, 5000 youth will go to Parliament Gardens to peacefully petition the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Professor Peter Katjavivi, to stop with non-priority, not needed and not urgent building of the N$ 2.2 billion new parliament building.”
The activists noted, “AR estimated that the N$2 billion must instead be re-directed to land servicing. The N$2 billion will service, our calculation shows, about twenty five thousand plots (25,000), an amount close to what the HPP targets over four years.”
With the announcement of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) which detailed that 26,000 plots will be serviced, the Affirmative Repositioning movement held a meeting on Monday 11 April with President Dr Hage Geingob to discuss the 200,000 plots proposed early last year but was not mentioned in the President’s State of the Nation’s address, the activists explained.
In the meeting which was attended by the Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and senior cabinet ministers, the President provided clarity on Affirmative Repositioning’s request on the release of the Harambee Prosperity Plan goal 8 which deals with Land, Housing and Sanitation. “The Government of the Republic of Namibia remains committed to the goal of servicing 200,000 residential plots as agreed in the 24 July 2015 meeting with the AR. It was was agreed to this end, that a number of strategies would be deployed simultaneously and with urgency to achieve maximum impact.” President Geingob clarified.
He further stipulated that the 26,000 plots targeted under the HPP 08 are one of the multiple, short-term strategies to be implemented towards the delivery of 200,000 plots agreed upon in the Massive Urban Land Servicing Programme (MULSP).
With regard to the pre-allocation of land to landless people, an issue deemed of emerging importance by the AR, the President said that the pre-allocation of land by municipalities as stated on page 42 of the HPP, will deliver a greater number of serviced erven. AR said the President urged municipalities that are ready, to start with land pre-allocation as soon as possible.
Other strategies included the subsidization of qualified local bodies such as the Shack Dwellers Association, and the Mass Housing Initiative Programme. The meeting culminated in the Prime Minister announcing the establishment of a rent control board to address the escalating property prices and tariffs before 01 August 2016 which will be in line with Section 33 of the Estate Agents Act 11 of 1976.