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Zimbabweans in Namibia land row

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Zimbabweans living in Namibia fear an outbreak of xenophobic attacks from locals who accuse them of “grabbing land” at informal settlements in that country.

According to media reports, Namibians now want Zimbabweans deported because of the land disputes.

Zimbabweans started flocking to Namibia from 2007 at the height of the economic meltdown in the country.

According to New Era newspaper, tension is brewing at a new informal settlement in the capital, Windhoek.

The settlement is said to be adjacent to Windhoek’s Goreangab informal settlement and occupants are threatening action against Zimbabwean squatters whom they claim have started “grabbing land” from locals.

Thlabanello 3 is said to be a rapidly expanding new informal settlement that has been declared “illegal” by the Windhoek City Council.

“They (Zimbabweans) have taken their land from the British by force back in their country, now they are taking ours.

“Something should be done before we take the law into our own hands,” a shack dweller was quoted as saying. The problem is that our Zimbabwean counterparts are also building shacks here.

“I know of someone who was fighting over a plot with a Zimbabwean.

“If they are foreigners, they should go and rent; and if they are refugees, they should go to Osire which is a refugee camp.”

The publication said the locals were so furious that they were prepared to “take up knobkierries” and drive off Zimbabweans.

In 2008, South Africans descended on informal settlements and shanty towns attacking foreigners, mostly from Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, accusing them of taking their jobs and women.

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