!Kung San in Tsumkwe deplore alleged biased intervention

03 Mar 2015 08:20am
MANGETTI DUNE, 03 MAR (NAMPA) – The !Kung San community in Tsumkwe-West have accused government of alleged biased interventions in the succession process of that community’s traditional leader.
Last Saturday, some !Kung community members at Mangetti Dune issued a statement carrying their concerns.
The !Kung San community of Tsumkwe-West in the Otjozondjupa Region have been without a chief since July 2012 after the death of their leader, Chief John Arnold.
Concerned members of the community on Saturday convened at Mangetti Dune where they raised their grievances.
Their concerns stems from a meeting they had with the Otjozondjupa Regional Governor, Samuel Nuuyoma and his Special Advisor Rosalia Muashekele-Sibiya at Mangetti Dune on last weekTuesday.
The group’s spokesperson, Nico Tjimungua told Nampa in an interview shortly after their meeting that Nuuyoma had gathered them last Tuesday to inform them that on 28 March this year, there will be a coronation ceremony for their new chief at Omatako village.
Apparently, Nuuyoma mentioned the name of late chief’s daughter, Glony Arnold, as the successor to the late chief. After some community members asked Nuuyoma who elected Glony, the Governor allegedly became angry and agitated.
The Governor allegedly hushed the community members when they asked questions he termed irrelevant and allegedly banged the table he sat behind twice in order to express his anger over the so-called irrelevant questions.
Nuuyoma also allegedly told them that whether they like it or not, Glony Arnold will be crowned as their chief on 28 of this month.
Contacted for comment on Monday, Samuel Nuuyoma said the !Kung Traditional Authority is a Royal House.
“Their chief will not be elected, but coronated on 28 March this year. This is the message I delivered to them last Tuesday. I know there are people behind them, that is why they are now coming up with these things,” said the Otjozondjupa Regional Governor.
Nuuyoma also denied that he was angry with the community at a meeting in Mangetti Dune.
Mangetti Dune is situated approximately 193 kilometres south-east of Grootfontein in Tsumkwe Constituency of the Otjozondjupa Region.
The !Kung San community’s public statement indicates that they would appreciate assistance from Government in facilitating the process, and organise a platform where all community members would come together to elect their own chief.
“The Government should not use its power to elect a chief for us. We are hurt and disappointed by our Government to appoint a chief for us. We will not accept this decision to appoint a !Kung San Chief. We want to elect a chief ourselves. We want a chief who will not be afraid to make a decision in our favour,” they said.
Three traditional councillors out of seven forming the !Kung Traditional Authority – Sarah Zungu, Joseph Kaimbi and Hoffeni Lukas were also present at the meeting on Sunday.
Zungu has been a senior traditional councillor in the !Kung Traditional Authority since its inception in 1990.
She told Nampa that the !Kung community does not have a Royal House that allows family members of a serving chief to be automatically crowned on the throne once the chief dies.
She said even the late Chief, Arnold was elected in 1992 by community members at Mangetti Dune where he competed for the seat with five other traditional leaders.
Zungu was amongst those that competed for the seat in 1992.
Others who contested for the position in 1992 included Costa Swau, Mathias Mdere, Hoffeni Lukas and Johannes Chakwanda.
Chief Arnold, 54, his wife Maria !Nuse, 50, and their grandson Duggery Arnold, 13, died in a road accident on 05 July 2012 when the chief and family were traveling from their homestead situated in the Tsumkwe Constituency to Omatako village that night.
!Nuse and Duggery died on spot while the chief sustained serious injuries.
The chief died two weeks later at the Roman Catholic Hospital in the capital.
Arnold was the first chief of the !Kung San Community and he was officially recognised by Government as chief in 1998.