Ondonga authority accused of dismissing OuKwanyama headmen

27 Feb 2014 14:00pm
ONGWEDIVA, 27 FEB (NAMPA) – The communities of Ekonghola and surrounding villages have expressed dissatisfaction with the Ononga Traditional Authority (OTA), accusing it of unfair treatment of their headmen.
Community members, who preferred to remain unnamed, told Nampa recently the OTA is hard at work to dismiss the headmen of villages under the Ekonghola area for a yet unknown reason.
“It was never said to the villagers as to why certain headmen have to be removed,” the community members claimed, adding that they want the OTA to be transparent and give them a reason why some headmen have to be dismissed.
It is alleged that dismissed headmen or those threatened with dismissal are all OshiKwanyama-speaking.
The dismissal of the said headmen started in 2004, and all affected headmen are under senior headman Shondili Amutenya of the OTA’s Onalusheshete district.
Removed headmen include Mwahafa Shiweda of the Otjolo village, Jermia Hamukoto of Omukulukila, Ndaluka Shuundili of Ondjaba, and Salatiel Shilongo of Ombuwayeembidi.
Those who are threatened with removal are Antonius Nghilongwa of Ekonghola, Samuel Nghinounye of Oshamambo, and Okayoka village headman Mateus Muudilo, who is also the chairman of other headmen in the area.
The community members alleged that the dismissed headmen are all to be replaced with OshinDonga-speaking headmen.
“Why should we suffer suppression in an independent country? We want our government to intervene and to find out why the people in and around Ekonghola have to suffer subjugation always in the elections year,” the Ekonghola community members argued.
Approached for comment on Monday, Amutenya disagreed with the allegations, saying only two headmen have been removed and they are Shiweda, who was removed because of a charge of alcohol abuse after several warnings, and Shuundili, who faced a charge of misconduct.
According to Amutenya, Nghilongwa and Muudilo are the ones who removed Shuundili after charging him with misconduct.
Amutenya pointed out that Shilongo is still the headman of Ombuwayeembidi, while Omukulukila was never recognised by the OTA as a village. Hamukoto was a self-appointed headman in that village.
The Onalusheshete senior headman also dismissed the allegations that Nghilongwa and Muudilo were called for an annual traditional joint cultivation at the Ondonga Palace crop field earlier this year, just to end up being held hostage there for 24 days.
“They were asked to remain behind for a few days after other people have left, and the reason was for them to explain the circumstances under which Nghilongwa allegedly received compensation for a person killed at his village,” Amutenya noted.
Nghilongwa is accused of receiving the compensation from a convict in the murder of a member of the San community at the village, and used a part of that compensation money for his personal interest.
According to Amutenya, it is a norm that compensation for murder has to be paid in at the OTA head office at Ondangwa and, as such, Nghilongwa was to be reprimanded for violating such customs.
“Muudilo remained behind with Antonius (Nghilongwa) for being a supervisor to Nghilongwa, and they were not threatened with dismissal,” Amutenya stated.