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Leaders in the Omaheke Region have advised the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform to revise the resettlement qualifying criteria in the Resettlement Policy. 

The leaders are of the view that the criteria fall short of addressing the pressing need for resettlement for agricultural purposes.

Kalahari Constituency Councillor Iganatius Kariseb said although the policy has been adopted by the Cabinet, it is not addressing the issue of fencing land that will continue to affect vulnerable groups in the region.

Kariseb stated that the region sits with overcrowded resettlement farming communities on very limited farming units on resettlement farms.

"We decided that we will not go ahead with the meeting to discuss the criteria because it is not talking about the needs of the region, and therefore we decided to demand in one voice that we see the minister so that we can discuss the whole issue of land allocation in this region because, in our case as the region, I still believe that we have a skewed distribution of land, so based on that, we are rejecting the criteria and rejecting the policy. We don't agree with the policy because it is not talking to our needs, so the minister should come down and talk to the traditional leaders and the entire region." 

The constituency leader added that proper land administration is critical to avoiding compromising peace and security in the country. 

The senior traditional councillor of the |Gobanin Traditional Authority, Frans Migu, echoed that the new policy should find a solution to the existing problem of resettlement instead of continuing to discriminate against marginalised communities. 

"Our people are suffering; we don't have land; there is no way we can start farming; there is nothing here, so it's best even for the minister to come over here and talk to us, and he can see it for himself."

The Chief Regional Officer, Pecka Semba, admitted discussions around land are sensitive.

"This is a very big issue, especially when it comes to Omaheke, and that is why this meeting was called off. After a lot of very hot discussions, it was called off, and we are going to pursue other avenues of the resolution that was taken."

The one-day consultation workshop was attended by traditional leaders, youth representatives from various constituencies, and other key stakeholders.

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Ngarije Kavari