Ovambanderu – Rapprochement and Reconciliation Not in Sight [editorial]

After seven years during which the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority has suspended all pilgrims to sacred shrines in view of the division and leadership rivalry that has been raging within the Ovambanderu, a section of them last weekend converged on Okahandja to once again pay homage to their ancestors and fallen heroes, among them their erstwhile Paramount Chief, Kahimemua Hiakungairi Nguvauva.

This was minus a section of the Ovambanderu under the leadership of Chief Karikondua Aletha Nguvauva. Whether coincidentally or incidentally, Queen Nguvauva and her followers the same weekend went to the village of Ongango in the Kunene Region for the tombstone unveiling of late Paramount Chief Keharanjo II Nguvauva, as well as his late great great grandfather, Tjozohongo. Whether now, with the reinstatement and re-engagement of the Ovambanderu pilgrims, the entire traditional community will regroup and reunite, remains highly suspect if the events of the past weekend where the followers of Chief Kilus Munjuku III Nguvauva, and that of Queen Nguvauva went to Okahandja and Ongango respectively separately, is anything to go by. But the million dollars question is how realistic it is now all of a sudden and seemingly out of the blue we expect the community to regroup and re-unite after the seven years of internecine acrimonious tensions, belligerent litigations in courts, and what-have-you which many a time only fell short of physical confrontations?

One cannot also muse and quietly also pose the pertinent question whether since the High Court verdict last year and the order compelling the government to recognise Munjuku III, whether anything substantial has happened and been happening to expect this traditional community, and to encourage the two sides to the division and disunity, towards a rapprochement? Not that I am aware of having a vintage proximity to this community.

Can one really expect Chief Munjuku III to have taken a different posture, especially in view of the expectation by some of his notable guests, foremost the Governor of Omaheke, Festus Ueitele. “Now is the time to do introspection as to where we went not so right, now is the time to go back to the drawing board and redo what was not so good. Now is the time to set personal agendas aside and to put both the agenda of our communities and that of the nation first,” said the governor last November.

“Hon Chief designate Nguvauva, you assume a leadership for the Ovambanderu Traditional Community at a time when this community is fractured and fragmented.”

Following the High Court verdict ordering the Namibian government to recognise Chief Munjuku III, Queen Nguvauva was categorical that rapprochement with Chief Munjuku III’s followers was farfetched as yet.

Public posturing at rapprochement by Chief Munjuku III aside, one has not seen anything meaningful, consequential and concrete towards rapprochement by Chief Munjuku III. And as much, even Chief Munjuku III’s pronouncements in Okahandja lately, in the absence of concrete steps towards realpolitik within the Ovambanderu, and eventual rapprochement, cannot be seen anything more than the usual public posturing.

Thus the latest posturing by the two sides via their separate pilgrims to Okahandja and Ongango, amply testify the hardened attitudes within the polar sides of the divide within the Ovambanderu. Whether there is a middle ground or middle grounders somewhere, and somehow, also remains to be seen.

But I cannot but take note some pronouncements, even as late as Okahandja lately from among the inner echelons of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority under Chief Munjuku III, notably the current Acting Chief of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority, Gerson Katjirua. Who seemed once again, and not the first time to sound and see a beacon of hope that sooner or later the tribe will group and be re-united as one. But how many a time has Acting Chief Katjirua not been sending this but many a time to no avail. How different would this time around in Okahandja be from many other times?

One cannot but appreciate the commendable mental frame of Munjuku III that until the whole entity has regrouped and re-united into a monolithic it once was, in true tradition of erstwhile traditional leaders, foremost among them, Kahimemua Hiakungairi Nguvauva, there is no way any side can claim any victory just yet. The buzzword must be, give rapprochement and reconciliation its due time.

Source : New Era