Traditional authorities recognition financial burden to government: Geingob

President Hage Geingob said the constant applications for the recognition of traditional authorities is financially unsustainable for government and causes tribal division.

Speaking at the annual council of traditional leaders' meeting here on Monday, Geingob said communities cannot suddenly want to establish distinct traditional communities and chieftainships, premised on personal motives, preference and ambitions, after there had been peace under one traditional leadership for years.

Where there are legitimate cases for recognition, facts should be established beyond doubt, based on thorough investigation. I am calling on all citizens, especially our elders and traditional leaders, to uphold our traditional norms and customs, and avoid fueling and planting seeds of division and dissent, he said.

One such a dispute was reported by Nampa earlier this year during which Ondonga Traditional Community saw royal Prince Konisa Kalenga and then-prince Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo disputing over who would be the successor to the late Omukwaniilwa (king) Elifas Kauluma.

It was only after government intervention that Nangolo received recognition as the Ondonga Omukwaniilwa.

Geingob went on to highlight that since its inception, the Council of Traditional Leaders, served as a source of unity in diversity and had helped to shape the structure and foundation of society.

He added that the country was in dire need of material assistance to overcome the current drought and economic downturn and called on Namibian citizens to share their resources with fellow countrymen and women to complement Government's efforts.

The Government, through the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, has established a community trust fund as to mobilise and deploy resources to address poverty, and other developmental challenges faced by the communities at a micro level.

He further called for accountability for use of the funds and resources provided from this trust and highlighted that traditional authorities and leaders have to promote the creation of conditions for the empowerment within their community.

Also speaking at the same event, Vice Chairperson of the Council, Goab Immanuel /Gaseb noted that there had been more than 10 applications for recognition from communities who are represented under already established traditional authorities.

Currently, there are 52 recognised traditional authorities under the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development.

/Gaseb said the endless disputes among traditional communities and applications are destabilising the conducive environment the government created for them.

Source: Namibia Press Agency