Staff Writer

Rampant land grabbing and duplicate allocation in the communal areas of the Epukiro and Otjombinde constituencies in the Omaheke region has compelled traditional leaders of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority (OTA) and the Hoveka Traditional Authority (HTA) to convene an emergency meeting between the two authorities to see how they can jointly tackle this problem.

The leaders of the two authorities, Acting Chief of the OTA, Senior Councilor Gerson Katjirua, and Chief Turimuro Hoveka of the HTA, met on Monday to look into the matter together with their councilors, advisors and lands committees of the two respective authorities. The root cause of the problem is each authority allocating land separately and without the knowledge and consulting its counterpart while unofficially their areas of jurisdiction seems to be overlapping.

But in reality each has specific area of jurisdiction in terms of land administration with the OTA’s being the Epukiro Constituency and the HTA being the Eiseb communal area in the Otjombinde Constituency. Be that as it may be, nevertheless the two authorities have overlapping subjects in the three communal areas of Epukiro, Otjombinde and Eiseb. As a result those seeking land have been inclined to seek the approval of their would-be authority, be it the OTA or HTA. Which means that there have been dual allocation of any particular land to different land seekers by the two authorities. This situation has seen because of the duplication of land allocation to different land seekers, pitted different land seekers against one another.

Equally finding a solutions to disputes have proven difficult with any land seeker preferring dissolution of the dispute by her/his own preferred or chose authority fearing bias by any other authority other her or his own. But the two authorities, OTA and HTA historically has not been seeing eye to eye thus any common solution of any land dispute has never been dared.

But due to the deteriorating situation of land allocation right, left and centre by the two respective authorities, and the threats of bloodletting because of disputes among those allocated land pieces separately by the two respective traditional authorities, the two leaders saw the need to eventually come together. On the agenda is from onwards when each authority allocates land in what it is believed to be its area of administrative authority, this is done with the knowledge of the other authority, which include each of the authority satisfying itself that indeed the area concerned is duly within the area of the authority of its counterpart.

Not only this but that it also has knowledge that any piece of land has been duly and legally allocated by either of the authorities to avoid dual allocation.
As of now, the two leaders have referred the matter to their respective experts and advisors, especially the respective land committees of the two authorities to further look into the matter. The two leaders will again meet on December 1.