Ministry cautions against illegal occupation of communal land

Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has cautioned the public to desist from illegal land allocation and the occupation of communal land in mostly the Oshana region.

This warning was recently issued by the ministry’s executive director, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata, who said the ministry, in particular the Oshana Communal Land Board, has been inundated with reports and cases of illegal land allocation and occupation through the sale of communal land at strategic areas.

Nghituwamhata said the illegal allocation and occupation of communal land has been reported in periphery areas of towns, especially surrounding areas between Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa.

“The ministry would like to inform the public that the land within town layouts falls within the jurisdictions of the respective town councils.

“Similarly, it is also important for the public to take note that communal land cannot be sold as freehold land to any person, in accordance with Section 42 of the Communal Land Reform Act,” Nghituwamata said.

She said it has recently emerged that some community members in the areas surrounding Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa, as well as at villages alongside the B1 road between Ongwediva and Ondangwa are involved in illegal land deals.

As a result, several individuals have fallen victim to such illegal actions, she says.

“Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform wishes to inform every Namibian citizen, especially the people living in communal areas, to follow the prescribed procedures to secure their customary land rights under the provisions of the Communal Land Reform Act,” she said.

Nghituwamata said to acquire land legally, certain steps need to be followed.

One should first identify the relevant portion of land and inform the village headperson of the relevant traditional authority of this.

Then applicants should complete the prescribed form and pay the N$25 application fee to the relevant traditional authority.

“Step three, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform must come to verify and map the identified land parcel; and in step four the applicant displays the seven-day notice at the traditional authority office to invite any objections that may arise from community members,” Nghitumhata said.

The fifth step is the ratification of the application by the Communal Land Board to approve and register the land right, and during the sixth step a customary land right certificate will be issued to the relevant traditional authority.

“Lastly, in step seven, the applicant is notified by the traditional authority and pays it a N$50 certificate fee upon collection of the land right certificate,” she said.

Nghituwamhata urged members of the public to guard against illegal land deals.

She urged them to report the illegal buying or selling of communal land in the Oshana region to the ministry.

Alternatively, the public could contact ministry officials Jacobina Amulungu at 081 140 3729 or Johannes Andreas at (065) 223-850/878.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News