The address follows questions posed by PDM Leader McHenry Venaani to Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, which drew attention to Article 19 of Namibia's Constitution.

Article 19 affirms every person's right to enjoy, practice, promote, and maintain their culture, language, tradition, or religion, provided it does not infringe on others' rights or the national interest. Venaani highlighted the plight of the |Khomanin community, which has practiced its beliefs and traditions but lacks communal land.

"Are you aware that members of the |Khomanin community, having been evicted from generational farms, now endure the elements, residing in urban corridors due to the absence of communal land? Why, despite constitutional provisions protecting their right to own and inhabit communal lands, does the |Khomanin Traditional Authority lack a legitimate parcel of land to autonomously practice their beliefs and traditions?"

The Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Carl Schlettwein, acknowledged the difficulties faced by the community, stating that the government is well aware of their predicament. He outlined concrete steps taken by the government, including the acquisition of additional farms, with the specific intention of providing relief to the |Khomanin people who have been evicted.

"We have now pursued the matter and bought another set of farms with a size of about just over 8000 hectares, which was purchased at a price of N$22 million. These funds were bought with a specific intention to relieve the |Khomanin people of land, but it is for now in a legal framework where these farms are still resettlement arms, so they remain state land."

The Minister also clarified that the provision for communal land reform falls under the Communal Land Reform Act and is limited to areas with communal lands and recognised traditional authorities.

"The question of whether it would be converted from commercial land to communal land—that is a prerogative that only the president can exercise—does not give us that prerogative."



Serafia Nadunya