Kapika Still Chief, Says Spokesperson

Followers of the Epupa chief Hikuminue Kapika, who was reportedly removed from his position at the end of March by disgruntled members of the community, allege that the DTA and the Otjikaoko Traditional Authority orchestrated the malicious sacking of the chief.

“This is all a political game,” said Peihama Tjindunda, the spokesperson of Kapika, adding that the report titled “Kapika Royal House chief removed”, which appeared in last Tuesday’s New Era, was an incorrect representation of facts.

He said he failed to understand how the journalist could have missed reporting on the presence of DTA President McHenry Venaani and traditional leaders opposed to Kapika at the meeting at Omuhonga, which is a reputed DTA ghold in Epupa. “It was more like a DTA meeting,” Tjindunda said, questioning the motive of the reporter to also omit the fact that twenty or more vehicles brought in people from all over Okaoko, from places such as Orotjitombo and Ovinjange to attend the pre-planned meeting that was to unseat Chief Kapika.

Approached for comment, Venaani denied claims that he attended such a meeting, labelling the allegations as “utter lies.” He said he was in the Kunene Region on party related matters but did not attend such meeting and was also not there when the community took the decision to remove the chief. “How could they say we orchestrated that when we want to bring the parties together?” Venaani said.

Tjindunda said there have been attempts to dethrone him for the past twenty years but the latest plot started when some business people approached the chief about developing the Baynes hydro-power project.

The business people apparently offered to take some of Kapika’s people to China to see how a similar project has bettered the lives of the Chinese – an idea to which the chief agreed by sending two of his sub-ordinates on the fact-finding mission. However, when the delegation returned they allegedly never contacted Kapika or presented him with a report on the foreign trip.

Last December, the community subsequently held a meeting where consultants presented a feasibility study report on the proposed dam, but the Omuhonga group opposed to Kapika allegedly rejected the project idea to make it seem as though the chief was the one opposed to such development.

“The idea was to create the impression that he (the chief) doesn’t want development in the area so that they could then go behind his back and show their support,” said Tjindunda, adding that battle lines have been drawn to create the false impression that the chief is opposed to any development in the area, as was the case with the conservancy that Kapika reportedly rejected.

He said those who want to get rid of the chief do not want him to support projects that they agree on because they want him to go.

Tjindunda said there was no way Kapika would be removed as his seat was a traditional one and he would only be “removed by death”.

“He won’t be taken away. He will lead unless he dies,” he maintained, adding that claims that the chief had joined Swapo were also false. He said the chief had been looking for recognition from government – something that sparked apprehension among some of his opponents.

Tjindunda also accused white business people in the area of instigating locals to reject the dam purely because the establishment of the dam would bring competition to their establishments.

“They want to keep people blind and enrich themselves,” Tjindunda raged, adding that businesspeople know that if the hydro project goes ahead, hotels, golf fields and other establishments would spring up in the area, giving them fierce competition.

Source : New Era