Namibia To Expropriate Farms

Sapa-AFP, The Mercury (Durban SA), Oct. 11

Windhoek: The Namibian government would expropriate 192 farms belonging to foreigners over the next five years, outgoing President Sam Nujoma said at the weekend.

Speaking at the launch of the ruling South West Africa People’s Organisation election manifesto in a Windhoek stadium on Saturday, Nujoma said land redistribution had been “a priority among other priorities” of his party’s government since independence in 1990.

“During the next five years the Swapo party government will expropriate 192 farms belonging to foreign landlords in order to resettle more people and enable them to become productive and proud landowners”, Nujoma told a cheering crowd of party members.

“Following the 2002 party congress resolution, the annual amount of 20 million Namibian dollars (R20 million) for the government to acquire land in commercial farming areas to resettle thousands of our people who need land, has been increased to 50 million Namibian dollars (R50 million) annually (since this year)”, the 75-year-old head of state added.

He told the crowd that his government had bought 746 583ha of land so far, resettling 6 256 families.

The Swapo election manifesto, which was released at the rally, stated that even more funds would be allocated to buy farms if Swapo won next month’s elections.

It said the 192 farms “the government will consider expropriating” covered a total of 1 268 911ha.

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