|KhoweseGaob must be custodian of clan’s customary law: Mushelenga

Minister of Urban and Rural Development, PeyaMushelanga called on the new installed chief of the |Khopese Traditional Authority, Hendrik Ismael Witbooi to be the custodian of the Customary Law of his clan.

In a speech read on his behalf at the coronation of Witbooi, Mushelenga said Witbooi will be obliged to ensure that his community's customary law is functional and applicable his community and that there is certainty about its application.

In this context, you and your team of senior and traditional councilors must work together to ensure that your customary law provides certainty especially in respect of leadership succession and by so doing avoid squabbles, costly and divisive disputes over succession in the future, Mushelenga said.

Mushelenga said the functions as a Chief are stipulated in the Traditional Authorities (TA's) Act Number 25 of 2000 which provides for the legal framework for the role and function of TA's.

You are responsible for the maintenance of peace, order and harmony within yor community. You are required to uphold, promote, protect and preserve the culture, language tradition an traditional values of your traditional community, he said.

He added that as the supreme traditional leader of his community, Witbooi has the responsibility to exercise his powers and to perform his duties and functions in a just manner.

Your community will expect that you respond positively to their needs and aspirations and that you will have a sympathetic and a listening ear when it comes to their plights. As a member of the Council of Traditional Leaders you will become part of the traditional leadership at national level that has a constitutional mandate of advising President on the control and utilization of communal land among others, Mushelenga said.

Mushelenga called on the |Khopese clan to cooperate with their Gaob and his leadership to enable them to deliver much needed services to the community which is known for its illustrious history of resistance under their late iconic Gaob and national hero Gaob Hendrik !Nanseb Witbooi and those that followed in his footsteps.

Regrettably, leadership changes within TA's in Namibia and it has not been without controversy. We have seen all over the country how various factions within traditional communities are being formed and how battle lines are drawn for fierce battle for the position of Traditional Leader.

Mushelanga further said leadership is about the people and not about oneself.

It is about working for the people and being the servant of the people. It is about leaving a lasting legacy of great work through excellent leadership and wisdom and not about positions only, he added.

He urged the Gaogu and their communities country-wide and in particular from those in the Hardap and ||Kharas regions as good neighnours to support the newly designated Gaob Witbooi in advancing unity, peace and social cohesion in the region.

Source: Namibia Press Agency