First of all, I recognise the call by our President to maximise food production in the country to ensure food security through green scheme projects. However, this call is being misunderstood by some investors as they see this as a means to get land without looking at the impact such project will have on the community.
The issue of the affected villages deserves special scrutiny and I applaud the decision by Kavango Communal Land Board to halt the activities. This investor simply grabbed the land, claiming it has been given to him by the chief and the councillor and therefore needed to fence his area.
The investor needs to understand that the affected community rely on their fields for cultivation and as tenure; and the commonage for other basic necessities, be it firewood, access to areas within and for grazing their animals. Fencing the area means that he is basically displacing the community and does not want them to cultivate and have ownership of land. He then goes ahead and call this biased act development.
The investor is only focused on the money and how rich he will get when his partners pay into the venture whereas the community will be at the receiving end of it all. The community is not interested in knowing how many millions he has spent on the project to date as that was done outside the legal framework.
In his mind, the backing he received from the chief, councillor and headmen meant it is a done deal. He didn’t see the need to approach the land board and crop field owners in the first place. He wanted to do his activities behind the land board’s back. Action should be taken against him for violation of relevant acts.