Rundu — Government has given the go-ahead to the Shambyu Traditional Authority authorising it to hold elections on August 18 for the tribe to choose a new leader who will replace the late chief Angeline Matumbo Ribebe who died in June 2015, leaving the tribe leaderless.
Two royal factions the Mwengere and Mukwahepo have fiercely been contesting the position for the own favourite to take over the royal reins.
Since the death of their traditional leader the two factions from different sections of the Shambyu royal lineage have been locked in a bitter dispute over which family should be installed.
"Since the two Shambyu royal factions have failed to resolve their chieftainship succession dispute, the minister sent them a directive to have elections. I have forwarded the letter from the minister to them," confirmed the governor of Kavango East Region, Dr Samuel Mbambo.
The letter from the office of the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Peya Mushelenga, instructed the traditional authority and the two factions to hold an election.
"Prior to my visit to the Shambyu Traditional Authority on 28 March 2018 regarding the above-mentioned matter, I hereby would like to draw your attention to the following embodiment," the minister stated in the letter.
In July 2016 the urban and rural development minister instituted an investigation into the long-standing succession dispute. The finding of the investigation committee was that the succession dispute should be resolved by means of an election under Section 5 (10) (b) of the Traditional Authorities Act, 2000 (Act No. 25 of 2000)
"On 28 March 2018 I took cognisance of the disagreement between the Mwengere lineage and Mukwahepo lineage of the Shambyu Royal Family on whether election in terms of Section 5 (10) (b) of the Traditional Authorities Act (Act No. 25 of 2000) as proposed by the investigation committee should be conducted to resolve the long-standing chieftainship succession dispute or not," Peya stated in the letter sent to governor Mbambo to forward to the two factions.
The minister continued that while absorbing the proposal to hold an election in terms of the act, the Mukwahepo lineage proposed inter alia that, if they participate in the election certain customary laws, rules must be applied, for example the election should be limited to members of the royal family, and therefore should exclude ordinary members of the traditional community.