Rukoro Coraonation in May

The newly elected Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero, Aocate Vekuii Rukoro, who was elected as Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero in September last year, is most likely to be coronated at the beginning of May. The date is, however, still to be announced, according to the secretary of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA), Bethuel Katjimune.

Rukoro succeeded the late Chief Kuaima Riruako, who died in a Windhoek hospital on June 2 last year, following a short illness.

Katjimune said they have not yet received Rukoro’s recognition application from the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, but government apparently responded to their request, in which it promised to have an answer by this month.

“If they do not recognise his (Rukoro) chieftaincy, we will have to take them to court,” threatened Katjimune.

When approached for comment, Chief Immanuel Gaseb, the Deputy Chairperson of the Council of Traditional Authorities and chief of the Oe#gan community at Okombahe, said that recognition of Rukoro was in the pipeline as the Ministry of Local Government was busy with that, but he could not say when he would be given the green light.

Gaseb said Rukoro would, however, only be recognised as any other chief in Namibia and not as a Paramount Chief as there is no provision for that in the Traditional Authorities Act.

He gave an example of the King of Ondonga, Elifas Kauluma, who is known as king in his area of jurisdiction, but who is only recognised as chief by the government.

Kauluma is also the Chairperson of the Council of Traditional Authorities.

“There are no bigger chiefs in the Traditional Authority Act, because there are no kingdoms in Namibia, but only chieftainships,” he said, adding that if they did that then they would have to make amends to the traditional act.

Gaseb said there was a cloud of controversy with the way the late Chief Riruako was installed as Paramount Chief while there were other Ovaherero traditional authorities, such as the Kambazembi and Maharero traditional authorities.

Furthermore, he said government only recognised Riruako as chief of Aminuis, but he claimed to have jurisdiction over wherever the Ovaherero find themselves, which contradicted the Traditional Authorities Act.

Aocate Rukoro was the special aisor to Riruako before taking over the reigns.

In an earlier interview, Katjimune said that committees were busy with preparations for the coronation, which would take place in Okahandja.

He added that President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who had passed a congratulatory message to the Paramount Chief in-waiting, has also been invited to the coronation and, depending on his schedule and availability, a date would then be set.

“We invited President Pohamba because we also want to honour him for bestowing our late Paramount Chief Riruako with a state funeral,” he said.

Katjimune said all groups, clans, royal houses and everybody else is invited to the coronation as they do not have to necessarily belong to the Ovaherero Traditional Authority to take part in the festivities.

He said that the reason the coronation was taking long, was to give everyone with interest ample time so that they could also attend the occasion from as far afield as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Botswana, South Africa and Angola.

Rukoro was elected during the OvaHerero Chiefs’ Council congregation at Ehungiro, Otjinene in the Omaheke Region last year.

He follows in the footsteps of Riruako, Clemens Kapuuo, Hosea Kutako and Samuel Maharero.

Source : New Era