18 Feb 2015 13:10pm
WINDHOEK, 18 FEB (NAMPA) The Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development (MRLHRD) has rejected the application of Advocate Vekuii Rukoro for recognition as paramount chief of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority.
Minister Charles Namoloh told a media conference here on Wednesday that he has not approved Rukoro's application because it seeks to expand the new traditional leaders area of jurisdiction.
Rukoro succeeded OvaHerero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako, who died in Windhoek last year.
Although Riruako was generally and widely regarded as paramount chief, the Namibian Government recognised him only as a chief, with Aminuis as his base, in terms of the Traditional Authorities Act.
Namoloh said if Rukoro indeed succeeded the late Riruako, he will be recognised as chief in the area of jurisdiction where Riruako was governing.
No other areas should be added, nor will there be an expansion of the jurisdiction area. The recognition will only apply to the late Riruako's area of jurisdiction, the minister stressed.
He did not specify the areas of jurisdiction which Rukoro allegedly added.
Namoloh said Rukoro will be recognised as chief of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority if he reapplies, while sticking only to his area of jurisdiction (Aminuis).
Although the government only recognised Riruako as a chief of the Aminuis area, he was widely considered to have had jurisdiction over many of the areas where OvaHerero people find themselves something which is contradictory to the provisions of the Traditional Authorities Act, and which also put him at odds mainly with the leadership of the government-recognised Herero Royal Houses.
Traditionally, the Ovaherero were governed by royal houses, but according to reports, this changed in 1863 after an all-Ovaherero consultative conference at Otjimbingwe reportedly decided to elect one overarching leadership or command structure under one leader.
Paramount Chief Maharero uaTjamuaha was designated as that leader, and ever since then the supreme Ovaherero leadership was consolidated, with royal houses mainly left to manage their clans.
Rukoro was not immediately reachable for comment on this matter.