Judicial

Meet us in court, pro-Katjiua OTA faction tells adversaries

Summary

The Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) has refused to reveal minutes of the disputed summit that saw the ascendance of academic, Mutjinde Katjiua as paramount chief (PC)-designate, citing confidentiality.Acting OTA secretary-general, Nandiuasora Maz…

The Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) has refused to reveal minutes of the disputed summit that saw the ascendance of academic, Mutjinde Katjiua as paramount chief (PC)-designate, citing confidentiality.

Acting OTA secretary-general, Nandiuasora Mazeingo, said the minutes are only open to members of the OTA when the media requested the same for verification purposes, at a briefing held in the capital on Wednesday.

“The minutes cannot be shared. They are only for members. That’s why we are only giving the resolutions [taken],” Mazeingo said.

This position comes at a time when aspersions have been cast on the Ovaherero chiefs council meeting that played out at Onderombapa in Omaheke’s Aminuis Constituency over the weekend.

The meeting also appointed Reverend Boas Tjingaete as acting PC, until a time a substantive leader is elected.

Go to court

Leading the pack opposed to the meeting are Northern business mogul Ben Zaaruka, the patron of the Ovaherero Red Flag Association and Ovitoto chief, Vipuira Kapuuo, the OTA chairperson and ‘acting Paramount Chief’.

“We, the majority of the chiefs’ council, do not recognise the alleged appointment of professor Mutjinde Katjiua as paramount chief-designate,” Kapuuo said in a statement on Tuesday.

Zaaruuka branded the weekend’s meeting at Onderombapa meeting void and fired warning shots at its conveners, saying: “Do not pee on our tradition.”

To those casting doubts over the meeting’s resolutions, the OTA has one simple message: ‘Meet us in court’.

Affirming this, Mitiri Festus Muundjua said it is not the OTA’s preoccupation to respond to reports making rounds in the public space.

“The meeting of Onderombapa was a duly constituted conference of the chiefs’ council,” he said.

The meeting met the required quorum, agenda and delegates received their notifications on time, Muundjua added.

“Being a duly constituted conference in law, any decision and resolution flowing from that is, therefore, a legitimate and legal decision,” the veteran scholar and historian said.

Kapuuo’s wings clipped

The Onderombapa gathering also removed Kapuuo from any official OTA activities.

Therefore, Kapuuo must desist from carrying himself in a manner as if representing the OTA, Mazeingo added.

He can only act “in his capacity for Ovitito,” Mazeingo said.

Kapuuo however said it is only at a properly constituted meeting of the Ovaherero senate that candidates’ names can be put forward for debate among the approximately 470 members to designate a new chief, New Era reported on Wednesday.

Firm in his resolve, Kapuuo said a duly constituted chiefs council meeting is slated for next month.

“The CC meeting was attended by nine of the 28 chiefs and five of the 17 Red Flag commandos; therefore, the meeting lacked the quorum. Also, the meeting was irregular, as the chiefs’ council does not have the authority to select a paramount chief designate,” Kapuuo, who boycotted the meeting, stated.

Team Katjiua

On the contrary, Mazeingo was adamant that the selection of Katjiua as PC-designate does not mean he will ultimately become paramount chief.

Katjiua is simply the chiefs’ council’s preferred candidate.

“He is the nominee of the chiefs’ council for an election that is to come under the rules of the senate. So what happens there, we are all to wait and see. But the men and women who converged on Aminuis said ‘we have confidence in one man [Katjiua] to lead us forward’… We recognise that there is another layer in the processes that have to take place. We all want to see what happens.”

Source: The Namibian Press Agency