Pohamba Inaugurates N$40-Million HQ for Chiefs

President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Monday bade farewell to traditional authority leaders.

“My contract is to expire in four months’ time – and I will go out of State House straight to my village Okanghudi,” said Pohamba.

He said his goodbyes whilst inaugurating the N$40 million Council of Traditional Authorities’ headquarters in Harold Pupkewitz Street opposite Government Office Park, Windhoek.

Pohamba said he still has three months to coach the yet-to-be elected president of the country before he leaves office.

Namibians go to the polls on Friday to elect the country’s president and members of the National Assembly.

He urged traditional leaders to cooperate with the new president.

“Do not give problems to the new president by showering him with new applications for traditional authorities. We always talk about unity, but a lot of applications for new traditional authorities mean we are disintegrated at community level,” said Pohamba.

Vice-chairperson of the Council of Traditional Authorities Immanuel Gaseb thanked Pohamba for his wise leadership.

“You are our mentor,” he said. As a token of appreciation, Gaseb handed over a yoke, chain and plough to Pohamba.

Pohamba thanked the council, and promised that he would use the implements as soon as the rain starts this year.

The president donated N$1.5 million of government funds to the Traditional Authorities Trust Fund through the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development. The money will be shared among all traditional authorities that have community trust funds.

Thirty traditional authorities out of the fiftty recognised by government received N$50 000 each for their established trust funds. The remaining 20 traditional authorities could for unspecified reasons not establish their trust funds in time.

Pohamba urged traditional leaders to generate income projects or get the community involved so that as traditional authorities they can sustain themselves and be less dependent on government.

He gave the example of the Zambezi and Kavango regions where traditional authorities have devised ways and means to generate their own income by establishing various projects.

Pohamba said the best way to contribute to such a fund is to get the community involved. “They should contribute so that traditional authorities sustain thmselves through such a fund,” he said.

Pohamba said government cannot attend to the financial requirements of each and everyone as it already took care of the 14 drivers that it assigned to recognised traditional leaders as well as provision of official vehicles to traditional authorities.

The new building does not have any chambers and this did not amuse Pohamba who was disappointed saying the lack of chambers at the new building indicates there was no consultation.

“That is poor planning and there seems there was no consultation. We were supposed to have chambers for the traditional authorities,” he said at the event.

He was howver confident the new building would go a long way to facilitate smooth planning, administration and management of activities of the council.

He said there is a pile of applications on his desk from communities asking to have their own traditional authorities.

“I think we should relook this matter that is coming from you. The time has come to stop this practice.”

Source : New Era