By Kelvin Chiringa
Otjozondjupa constituency councilor, Julius Neumbo has come to the defence of his wife who has been criticised for acquiring farm land at the expense of the poor in the area.
Hendrina Neumbo is one of the three latest land beneficiaries who appeared on a list recently published by the lands ministry in the media. She has effectively secured the right to occupy a portion of No. 346 farm Grosvenor in Otjozondjupa.
A fellow councilor who spoke on condition of anonymity suggested to this publication that Neumbo’s wife enjoyed preferential treatment on the basis of her husband’s position in the Swapo party.
The Patriot could not reach Mrs. Neumbo on her mobile phone. However an irate Neumbo has lashed back at the criticism stating that his wife was a Namibian with war veteran status who has the same rights as any other citizen to be resettled on Namibian land.
He said his wife had just gotten lucky and had followed the normal land application process.
“Listen; is she not a Namibian or what? Use your common sense, some of the comments you must answer them. If those people say the wife of councilor Neumbo is not a Namibian then you can tell me. If not you should call me, (but) please I am at a funeral.
These people must start to use their common sense. If (my family) are Namibian what is wrong that government has to take care of them? My wife is a war veteran for that matter who was applying (for land) all that time and then she was lucky. Is she an Angolan or a Nigerian or what?” said Neumbo.
The farming unit Mrs. Neumbo settled on was advertised from the 15th of February to the 15th of March this year and measures some 1 736.1788 ha, according to the lands ministry.
Another latest beneficiary in the same area is Martin Skrywer who got a remaining extent of portion one of farm Grosvenor as well as Johanes Shimaneni who took over the remainder of No. 976 Kometji farm in the same area.
The lands ministry has advised these beneficiaries to occupy the farming units within 30 days after receipt of their original allotment letters. “The ministry of land may re-advertise any unoccupied farming units after 30 days of receiving the letters,” said the ministry.
Mrs. Neumbo also appears to be involved in charitable work and has previously been involved in a donation of 40 bags of cement to members of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) at Otjiwarongo to construct manholes to land given over to them. The cement was worth more than N$2000.
The lands ministry has also been in the past reluctant to make public a list of resettled farm beneficiaries on the grounds it had a potential to cause harassment to resettled farmers.
After considerable pressure, the ministry capitulated and handed over to the Ombudsman, John Walters last year, thus forestalling the possibility of being dragged to court. When the Ombudsman released the list, revelations were that for the eight regions captured in it, only 9 903 people had been resettled in a period of 19 years.
The Otjozondjupa region saw 473 beneficiaries while only nine were resettled in 2018.