4 December 2012

Namibia: Oukwanyama Headmen Up in Arms

CLOSE to 30 village headmen under the authority of the queen of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority in the Ohangwena Region, Martha Mwadinomho Nelumbu, have petitioned the queen over unfair treatment from their senior headmen.

The headmen marched from Ohangwena town to the queen’s residence at Omhedi yesterday where they handed over their petition.

The headmen, led by Heinrich Heenuka, also called on Nelumbu to reinstate former Ohaingu senior headman Sipora Dan, Ondekelemba senior headman Hangula Vatilifa and the village headman of Ongha, George Hikumwa.

They claimed that the three were fired unfairly last year by the queen and her traditional council.

They accused the chairman of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, George Nelulu, and senior headman of Ohaingu District, Urias Ndilula, of having persuaded the queen to fire the three.

They said traditional leaders were being fired to make way for the friends of the senior district headmen.

They said Ohaingu district was the most affected, with about 21 village headmen fired between April last year and December this year.

They alleged that headmen who had accused the chairman of the authority of mismanaging funds were the ones targeted.

“We are feeling bad that we are robbed of some of our real leaders and forced to accept those we do not want. We want our previous leaders, such as Vatilifa, Dan and Hikumwa, to come back and rule us. The Ovakwanyama do not want George Nelulu and Ndilula as members of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority and as members of the Queen’s Council. Nelulu must go to his business and politics,” they said in the petition.

The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority’s Ndeulimane Shamena, who received the petition on behalf of the queen, told the demonstrators that he would forward it to the Queen’s Council.

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