Rukoro and debate on Government recognition continues

OKAHANDJA: Advocate Vekuii Rukoro on Saturday promised to continue fighting for Government to recognise the position of the OvaHerero Paramount Chief.

He was speaking at Okahandja Commando one in the Otjozondjupa Region, shortly after being inaugurated as OvaHerero Paramount Chief by OvaHerero holly fire traditional commander, Abisai Mungendje and the OvaHerero community.

Various traditional councillors under the OvaHerero Traditional Council unanimously elected Rukoro at Ehungiro in the Otjinene constituency in September 2014 as the successor of OvaHerero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako, who died in Windhoek on 02 June 2014 after a short illness at the age of 79.

However, Government does not recognise the position of OvaHerero Paramount Chief, even when Riruako was alive.

During his three-hour long speech, Rukoro said it must be clear to the world that the OvaHerero have no war against their haters or any Government of the day.

“Our Government should take it from me that we shall regard it as a friend and not an enemy, as we would like to do business together,” he said.

He said the new Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sofia Shaningwa told the OvaHerero Traditional Authority (OTA) in a letter earlier this year, that she rejects Rukoro’s application to be recognised as OvaHerero Paramount Chief.

Shaningwa allegedly also said the OTA will be recognised to operate within the confinement of the Aminius Reserve in the Omaheke Region only, as the late Riruako had indicated.

However, Rukoro on Saturday argued that the late Riruako had stated Aminius Reserve in the application as an area where the OTA office could be headquartered, not as its jurisdiction.

He said Shaningwa must get the law correct, saying the same law she is supposed to administer states that the authority of any chief is not territorial or geographically-based, but rather based on subjects or followers irrespective of their localities.

Rukoro said Government must come clean on any hidden agenda it holds against his people by limiting them to the Aminius Reserve, as by so doing it implements the Bantustan apartheid ideology.

“We shall not accept this, not today, tomorrow or ever,” he stressed, adding that he had in his application for recognition indicated the regions in which he has followers.

He mentioned the Otjozondjupa, Omaheke, Erongo and Kunene Regions, and the Vaalgras village in the Karas Region.

“Even as I am speaking to you now, these traditional leaders representing my people in those regions are seated right here with us. They are not all domiciled in the Aminius constituency,” Rukoro pointed out.

He explained that his people regard themselves bona fide OvaHerero, whose ancestors were merely displaced in those regions by former German Army Commander, Lothar von Trotha’s order of extermination.

Rukoro said these traditional leaders and their traditional community members are residents of these regions by birth.

“They were there already before I was appointed. So, how can it be alleged that I want to expand the jurisdiction of my reign to those regions? I regard that as an unfortunate remark and devoid of any truth,” he charged.

Rukoro said the sooner Government leaders intervene in this matter and ensure that the line minister acts in conformity with the law without discriminating, the better it will serve the nation.

He did not mention any actions to be taken if Government does not recognise him as OvaHerero Paramount Chief.