Guest Contributor | Oct 9, 2018 | 0
NANGOF-Civil Society Working Group on Land Reform
By Uhuru Dempers
Convener of NANGOF-Civil Society Working Group on Land Reform
NANGOF-Civil Society Working Group on Land Reform wholeheartedly welcomes the announcement by the government that the 2nd National Land Conference has been rescheduled.
On July 7, 2017 we wrote to the President, Hage Geingob, appealing for his intervention after we failed to secure an appointment with the Minister of Land Reform. The President replied on 31 July 2017, requesting us to elaborate on our concerns.
NANGOF-Civil Society Working Group on Land Reform wrote a follow up elaborate follow up letter to President Geingob and received a reply delivered to the Chairperson of NANGOF Board, Sandi Tjaronda.
A letter written to Ministry of Land Reform by NANGOF requesting for an audience to discuss preparations and planning for 2nd National Land Reform was not even acknowledged by the Ministry of Land Reform.
The letters we wrote to President Geingob were acknowledge in both instances in less than and hour and we had official response from the President in less than 30days in both cases we corresponded with the Sate House.
We salute President Geingob for taking time to engage with civil society organisations on this matter and for having taking serious our concerns. Our views were genuine and out of a desire to ensure a effective and successful 2nd National Land Conference.
As civil society organisations since August 2016, when Minister of Land Reform announced the 2nd National Land Conference, we invested a lot of resources, time and effort in preparing for the all important conference.
We undertook consultations in 11 of the 14 regions of Namibia and will complete the rest in the coming weeks, we commissioned research and are preparing thematic papers on key critical areas of land and agrarian reform. This would be presented in a common position of paper of civil society for the 2nd National Land Conference.
We pledge to work with government and other stakeholders to ensure an effective and successful 2nd National Land Conference. We have made concrete recommendations to government about the steps neccesary to organize a outcomes based Conference and will support efforts by government in this regard.
The public relations officer of the Ministry of Land Reform lied to the public recently in a local paper, that NANGOF is the one that forced for the initial postponement of the 2nd National Land Conference in 2016.
We condemn this misleading and false information and remind the public relations officer that infact it was the Minister of Land Reform that announced through a press release that government has decided to postpone the Conference citing the lack of funds as the main reasons.