Land scramble, economic woes grab Namibian headlines

APA-Windhoek (Namibia)

The main headlines in the Namibian press on Friday were the scramble for land in Okahandja by the elite, a verbal attack by former deputy land minister Bernadus Swartbooi on his boss as well as the defence of President Hage Geingob by housing minister over the current economic crisis.

The weekly Windhoek Observer came out with a headline “Why I called Nujoma an idiot”.

In the story, Swartbooi said he repeatedly called his former boss, Land Minister Utoni Nujoma, “an idiot” in the National Assembly on Wednesday because “it is the only language he (Nujoma) understands”.

Swaartbooi said Nujoma, the son of founding President Sam Nujoma, used his ministerial statement to insult land activists by calling them dishonest.

Swaartbooi was fired from his post by Geingob in December 2016 after accusing Nujoma of biasness regarding land resettlement.

“Okahandja for sale” is the screaming headline in The Namibian newspaper about dubious land deals in Okahandja, about 70km north of capital Windhoek that involves politicians, business people and Chinese businessmen.

The daily quoted a forensic audit by PriceWaterhouseCoopers that revealed that behind the real estate boom in the town lay a string of shady dealings involving well-connected individuals and dishonest municipal officials.

The report singled out over 200 land transactions that flouted the municipal regulations, with Chinese businesswoman Stina Wu and ruling Swapo party senior politician and former cabinet minister Kazenambo Kazenambo said to be some of those getting favours from the town management.

Urban and Rural Development Minister Sophia Shaningwa has come out gun blazing against public accusations that President Geingob, and his cabinet are to blame for the current economic crisis the country is battling with, according to state owned New Era.

The paper said the minister said “it is not the president but a trend that is around the world. This message should be clear. Some people are making fuss and confusing the communities”.


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