Aakwanyama At Odds With Traditional Leaders

VILLAGERS from Ohaingu, Onandova, Ohakafiya West and East, as well as senior headmen from districts of the Oukwanyama in Ohangwena Region, held a peaceful demonstration yesterday, demanding the immediate removal of some of their traditional leaders.

Marching to the palace of the Oukwanyama queen, Martha Mwadinomho Kristiaan Nelumbu, at Omhedi, the people requested the dismissal of the chairman of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority (OTA), George Nelulu, who is also the senior headman of Eudaneko.

They also demanded for the removal of senior headman of Ohaingu Urias Ndilula with immediate effect because the two have allegedly been involved in criminal activities, tarnishing the image of the OTA and its queen.

In a six-page petition read out by the villagers’ spokesperson, Hifikepunye Ndemudina, and received by the Oukwanyama spokesperson, Andrew Naikaku, on behalf of the queen, the demonstrators demanded that the queen’s aisory committee should be reviewed because it has apparently become a politically-motivated body.

Naikaku told the demonstrators that he would give the petition to the queen who would discuss it with the council.

“We respect our queen, but we are very disappointed and have even lost our trust in the Oukwayama Traditional Authority. We realised that our traditional authority is no longer working according to the laws of this country,” the petitioners claimed.

They further alleged that, at the moment, the traditional authority is viewed by many as a group of people instigating the Ovakwanyama to fight among themselves and thus lose peace in their community. The villagers also accused the OTA of having axed former senior head woman of Ohaingu District Sipora Dan and the senior headman of Okelemba, Hangula Vatilifa, without any public hearing or consultation and replacing them with new senior headmen. Other allegations surfaced when the angry marchers claimed that the OTA officials had also been stealing livestock, mainly cattle.

The demonstrators called on the OTA to bring back those traditional leaders they had taken away from their positions and to create an atmosphere of peace and stability again.

The demonstrators also called on Queen Nelumbu to take their demands seriously and to give them answers on or before Friday next week. If not, they said, they would take their grievances to the Council of Traditional Leaders.

Source : The Namibian