Okongo councillor condemns senior headman's actions

13 May 2014 17:30pm
ONGWEDIVA, 13 MAY (NAMPA) – The Ohangwena regional councillor for the Okongo Constituency, Paulus Mwahanyekange says the Ondonga Traditional Authoritys senior headman for the Onalusheshete district, Eino Shondili Amutenya, has disregarded and undermined his authority.
Mwahanyekange said this in a telephonic interview with Nampa on Monday in response to claims that Amutenya destroyed and burned down fences of two residents of the Ofifiya/Ombuwamtyonghe village in the Okongo Constituency during Cassinga Day commemorations a week ago.
The Ofifiya/Ombuwamtyonghe village is part of the Onalusheshete district traditionally, but politically falls under the Okongo Constituency.
Amutenya is said to have travelled in a convoy of five cars through the Okongo settlement on his way to the Ofifiya/Ombuwamtyonghe village on 04 May without informing Mwahanyekange or the local Police commander about his presence and mission in the area.
“I have spoken to him (Amutenya) on two occasions in the past, and appealed to him always to inform me when he is in an area which falls under my constituency, so that I can also inform the community to iron out possible misunderstandings,” said Mwahanyekange.
But Amutenya continues to ignore his advice, he noted.
The Okongo Constituency councillor said he started advising Amutenya at the time when he had a conflict with members of the community of the Oshiti shaHaihonya village, where he allegedly tried to appoint a new headman dubiously a few months ago.
The Oshiti shaHaihonya village also falls under the Okongo Constituency.
Mwahanyekange, who is also the chairperson of the Ohangwena Regional Council, believes Amutenya’s presence in the area always causes tension between him and the community.
“This is so because villages such as Oshiti shaHaihonya are located in the area in dispute between the OuKwanyama and OnDonga traditional authorities,” Mwahanyekange stated.
Inhabitants of the area in question are mostly OvaKwanyama, and many are reluctant to accept that they fall under the OnDonga Traditional Authority and belong to the Onalusheshete district.
On Amutenya’s actions, Mwahanyekange suggested that the Police should investigate the incident accordingly.
“Once he (Amutenya) is found guilty of wrongdoing, he should be arrested and brought before a competent court of justice to give the reason for him to destroy the property of his fellow Namibians,” he demanded, adding that Amutenya always causes people unhappiness.
Mwahanyekange pointed out that clear policies are in place to guide the removal of fences within the framework of the law and in consultation with the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement.
“Such policies are first to be followed before removal if a fence is illegally erected, and nobody, including a senior headman, has the right to take the law into his/her own hands,” he explained.
The destroyed properties belong to Mengela Haikali and Lazarus Nghifikwa.
Haikali is the headman of the Ofifiya/Ombuwamtyonghe village and a businessman, while Nghifikwa is an ex-combatant in the defunct People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) and now a captain in the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) at Grootfontein in the Otjozondjupa Region.
Speaking to Nampa at the village on Sunday, Haikali and Nghifikwa said Amutenya never provided them the reason why their fences had to be destroyed.
“We have already laid charges of malicious damage to our property against him at the Police in Okongo,” Haikali told this news agency.
Amutenya declined to comment on the matter when approached for comment on Monday.