Namibia: Former president accused of attempting to evict 78-Year-Old

Landless People’s Movement Henny Seibeb has accused former president Hifikepunye Pohamba of trying to evict a 78-year-old woman from a farm she has been living for most her life.

Seibeb raised the issue in the National Assembly on Wednesday when he asked agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein to give an explanation with regard to a farm Ebenezer No. 1401 (Guinaspoh) in Oshikoto region which was bought for resettlement but is now allegedly owned by the former president.

He said the farm was previously owned by Bennie Grobelaar and later passed on to his son Jacobus Grobelaar before it was bought by the government and later bought by Pohamba.

The elderly woman facing eviction by Pohamba, Seibeb said, is Amanda Haodoms (now known as Karises) who was employed as a domestic worker on the farm by the previous owners.

She was allegedly promised a portion of land from the farm by the previous owners “so she could live on the farm with her family once they joined a celestial life”. “No formal documentation was provided [to back up this promise]” Seibeb said.

Seibeb claims that the elderly lady has survived attempted evictions by the Grobelaar family before the farm was sold to the government.

“While they were resisting evictions from Jacobus Grobelaar, another blow came when they were informed that the farm was sold to government for resettlement and later heard that it was bought by a certain Mr Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba, former president of Swapo and Namibia,” Seibeb said.

According to him, the former president had initially entered into a grazing agreement with the elderly woman “and allowed them to stay on the farm for three years from 2013 to 2016 by way of a letter dated 18 February 2013 provided they paid rent of N$12 per month”.

“Now, former president Pohamba returned to the elderly couple on 27 September 2020 threatening total eviction.

“He is adamant and has even sent Namibian Police Force members to spy on the couple and take pictures and instructed them to break their houses. And imagine this is supposed to be the ancestral land of these people,” Seibeb said.

It is no known whether the government will consider expropriating the property and give it to the elderly woman.

Liberty Pazvakawambwa

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