Religious groups fight over church building in Ruacana

13 Feb 2014 13:00pm
RUACANA, 13 FEB (NAMPA) – The leadership of two religious organisations are confronting each other over the ownership of a church building at Ruacana in the Oshifo suburb of the Omusati Region.
Sergeant Hesekiel Hamalwa of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s public relations’ unit in the Omusati Region confirmed the confrontation between the two religious organisations on Wednesday, saying it started on Monday this week.
The churches are the Mission Work for Jesus Christ, and Nazareth of Jesus Christ.
A member of one of the fighting groups who declined to be named, told Nampa that both groups used to be one - the Mission Work for Jesus Christ.
The church building in question was constructed in the early 1990s under the leadership of Pastor Gideon Shikongo Kashuku with donor funds from a yet unidentified organisation in Germany.
Kashuku is now a minister for the Nazareth of Jesus Christ Church after staying away from the Mission Work for Jesus Christ for the past eight years, following his alleged forceful removal from the church because of supposed ties to the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).
Pastors Daniel Muharukua and Abraham Shomongula are representing the Mission Work for Jesus Christ, while Kashuku and his son, Immanuel Shikongo, are representing the Nazareth of Jesus Christ Church in the dispute.
Shikongo, who is the secretary of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) in the Omusati Region, told this agency on Tuesday that he replaced the old locks with new ones on Monday, so that nobody can enter the church building before the dispute is resolved.
He explained that members of the Mission Work for Jesus Christ forced his father out in 2006, engaged his father in a political battle, and lobbied support from the police who harassed his father, forcing him into exile in Angola that same year.
Kashuku returned from Angola this week.
Shikongo pointed out that their rivals have issued them with an eviction order through their attorney, demanding them to unlock the building and to surrender the keys within two hours.
“We resisted their eviction order by also approaching our lawyer,” he said.
Contacted for comment on Wednesday, Muharukua only said the issue is in the hands of their lawyers now.