Namibia: State House Growing Tired of Traditional Fights

Photo: New Era
President Hage Geingob.

Gobabis — President Hage Geingob has told traditional leaders to stop flooding State House with their disputes and rather solve their squabbles using the existing traditional justice system.

Geingob gave this advice to traditional leaders during his town hall meeting at Van Der Walt Primary School hall in Gobabis, Omaheke Region on Thursday.

The meeting is aimed at engaging inhabitants of the various regions at grassroots level and listen to their concerns and challenges. "Tradition is good, but if tradition cannot solve the problems, if the culture that we are praising ourselves for cannot solve things in traditional way, why do I have to sit at State House and deal with traditional squabbles... recognition, non-recognition," he asked.

President Geingob says there are traditional ways of solving problems but still he has to spend about 30 percent of his time dealing with traditional squabbles at State House.

"You have traditional ways of solving things but everybody is coming to State House, why? What happened to the traditional way of solving problems. All tribes in Namibia [are] ever fighting. Is State House the court? what happen to the culture?" he wanted to know.

Similarly, Geingob also advised traditional leaders not to call themselves, chiefs and kings but to rather stick to their traditional names such as Ombara, Gaob and Omukwaniilwa - which all carry the same meaning.

"Chiefs and kings are a problem because we don't seem to realise that we have a republic here. That is why I said instead of people calling themselves kings, we must use vernacular names such as Ombara and others."

"Republic is not a kingdom," he emphasises.

Additionally, Geingob also advised traditional leaders to stop begging from government but to rather live off their subjects, saying that when Chief Hosea Kutako was "here" he did not get anything from government but solely relied on his subjects. "You want to say I am king, I am this, recognise me but then you are asking for an office from government. As king, having followers, you even say 'my people', we even own them, but then government is paying you, the car is given, you are dying for that," he said, while responding to Chief Kilus Munyuku III Nguvauva who wanted an update on the construction Ovambanderu headquarters.

"And we [chiefs] talk too much, if we can just calm it, so that we can co-exist as we have been doing, we [chiefs] are so angry but then there is nothing. Begging is not the way to do it, nobody will respect you," he added.

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