I Never Applied to Be Paramount Chief – Rukoro

PARAMOUNT chief Vekuii Rukoro yesterday lashed out at the ministry of urban and rural development’s refusal to recognise his chieftaincy.

According to Rukoro, he filled in a normal form for recognition as chief and not as paramount chief and he therefore does not understand why the ministry is refusing him approval.

“I never applied for the position of a paramount chief but that of a chief as the law states. The ministry has my form and they know that. So why (do they) decline to recognise me? What are they talking about? What do they have against us OvaHerero? It just means all this time they have been working on a non-existent application,” asked Rukoro.

He said he applied for the position of a chief as per the Traditional Authority Act 2000 and that the position of paramount chief is an Ovaherero customary law term.

“Under the Namibian traditional law, I would be a chief but under the customary law I will be known as paramount chief. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s none of their business what we call ourselves. The Aawambo address themselves as kings when they are chiefs. So why quarrel with us? Unless they want to be tribalistic. This, my people will not allow, we will respond,” warned Rukoro.

This comes after The Namibian yesterday reported that Rukoro, despite receiving another rejection letter from the urban development minster Sophia Shaningwa went ahead and got installed as paramount chief.

Shaningwa had argued that she was briefed by her predecessor Charles Namoloh that Rukoro had wanted the approval for position of paramount chief, which means he wanted to be ruler over all chiefs as well as expand his jurisdiction to other regions whereas the law says he must only be the head of a certain constituency.

She said this had raised the concerns of other Ovaherero chiefs who did not want to be under Rukoro’s rule and that if Rukoro wanted to be a chief she had no problem with it but that she would not approve the position of paramount chief as there is no provision for it within the Traditional Authorities Act.

Source : The Namibian