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Tuesday 22 January 2019
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Muharukua likens govt to colonisers over redline

 
erkki mururani redlineDTA of Namibia Parliamentarian Vipuakuje Muharukua says the reluctance displayed by the government to remove the Veterinary Cordon Fence (redline) 27 years after independence makes it no different to the colonial government in oppressing the greater Namibian populace.
During a brief interview with The Patriot earlier this week, Muharukua told this paper that the redline had a “catastrophic” socio-economic impact on the greater Namibian population who live north of the line.
“Twenty-six years after independence, not only is the redline in place, but also the catastrophic socio-economic effects of it.
So what is today’s government saying if it continues maintaining the then effects of the redline,” said the country’s youngest lawmaker in a bid to push government to act on getting rid of the redline.
According to Muharukua, researchers say that the redline is a “disease control” mechanism whereas in actual fact the redline is a political and divisive tool.
“Having the redline in place is superficial because it was a political tool to keep the majority of Namibians segregated from the majority of the land. Now 26 years after independence, this (redline) is still in position, this is a clear indication that this government is using political reasons for keeping the redline?” he asked.
Sharing similar sentiments with Muharukua, Omusati Regional Governor Erginus Endjala, whose region is also impacted by the presence the redline, said time was ripe for government to finally do away with the line.
“First and foremost, it was done during the colonial era to apparently control the foot-and-mouth disease but what is happening currently is that it has denied farmers north of the line access to the meat markets. It is something that urgently needs attention and I think it is now high time to just remove it.
If we are now foot-and-mouth disease-free, why can’t we remove it to allow people to sell their animals?” asked Endjala.
Endjala said the presence of the line discourages communal farmers from participating in farming activities as the meat market, both nationally and internationally is almost close for them.
 
Government promises
Moreover, Muharukua went on to accuse the Swapo Party-led government of promising to remove the redline during their election manifestos and campaigns when in actual fact, it does nothing about it. “At every election, the Swapo government promises to the people living north of the Redline that they will remove the redline,” alleged Muharukua.
According to the DTA politician, the current government has been “promising” to do something about the redline ever since the time that founding President Sam Nujoma, Hifikepunye Pohamba and now Hage Geingob.
“After the first president of this country was running for a third term, it (redline) was one of the hot-cakes that he was talking about, when President Pohamba was running to come into power, that’s the exact thing he was talking about.” “When the current President (Geingob) was running, the exact same thing, the redline, so it’s promises upon promises about the redline but nothing is happening,” Muharukua further stated.
In the same way, Muharukua further accused the current administration of promising to bring better services when no “tangible” actions are being taken to address their plights.
“All of them were talking about how blacks should buy land, how Agribank was put in place to buy farms.
“But today, all relevant Ministers have farms or at least have access to buying commercial farms, and now they hardly talk about farm prices that needs to go down for blacks to be able to afford commercial land,” said Muharukua.
In addition, Muharukua accused some Ministers (current and former) of not thinking about the “bigger part” of the Namibian population who live north of the redline simply because they own farms south of the said line.
 
Radical action
With reference to pressure groups namely the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) and Landless People’s Movement, Muharukua said it was only a matter of time before inhabitants living north of the redline take matters into their own hands and “physically” remove the redline.
“It is evident that the government of Namibia only adheres to cohesion, yesterday we had AR, today we are having the Landless Peoples’ Movement.
“All these pressure groups are envisaging and talking about taking radical action to solve the problems because government is not listening,” Muharukua noted.
Above all, Muharukua warned that it “it is a matter of time” before a group or individuals finally decide to take matters into their own hands.
“God forbid, but it is a matter of time, it is (physical removal) not something that I would advocate for, neither something that I would want.
“But it is something that could happen, that a pressure group would come up with radical action to integrate all Namibian into Namibia,” Muharukua added.
According to the DTA leader, present-day Namibia is divided into two parts and the removal of the redline would mean that all Namibians will finally be integrated into the country.
Government in the past acknowledged the negative effects of the redline and that it affects the value of livestock, income and the people’s standard of living.



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