Namibia: Court Blocks Shambyu New Chief Coronation

25 November 2019

Rundu — The High Court last week blocked the planned official coronation of Sofia Mundjembwe as the new chief of the Shambyu traditional authority to take over from the late Angelina Ribebe who died in 2015.

The coronation was billed for this past weekend at Kayengona village outside Rundu. Urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga had given the green light for the traditional authority to continue with plans to unveil Mundjembwe as the new chief.

However, this was not well received by another throne contender, Maria Ukamba Haindaka, who filed an urgent application in the High Court to stop the coronation from taking place.

"What we wanted to do was to stop the coronation and the formal designation by the minister, as well as the gazetting of the chief because we are challenging the process that led to the approval by the minister.

"We were successful with the urgent application, and the coronation and designation was interdicted," said lawyer Appolos Shimakeleni who represented Haindaka. "So, we now all have to wait for the finalisation of part B, which is the review of the minister's decision," he added. The court also ordered: "... the designation of the fourth respondent as the chief of the third respondent is hereby restrained and interdicted.

The second respondent is restrained and interdicted from recognising the designation, if any, of the fourth respondent and proclaiming same, if at all, in the Government Gazette."

"The respondents are directed to pay the costs of this application, such costs being consequent upon the employment one instructing and one instructed counsel (where employed).

The reasons for the order will be uploaded on eJustice on 9 December 2019. The matter is removed from the roll and is regarded as finalised," it further reads.

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