26 Apr 2015 10:10am
MAYARA, 26 APR (NAMPA)- The 44 year-old Eugene Kudumo Siwombe officially took over the throne as the new Chief of the Ukwangali Traditional Authority in the Kavango West Region on Saturday.
Siwombe, an accountant by profession, was coronated as the 21st leader of the Ukwangali people at the Kahenge tribal hall near Nkurenkuru town - some 120km west of Rundu.
The crowning of a new chief was necessitated by the death of Chief Daniel Sitentu Mpasi on 17 December last year. He died at the age of 80 after a long illness.
Siwombe was publicly announced by the late Mpasi as heir in line to the Ukwangali throne.
The coronation ceremony signalled a new era in the Ukwangali community, as they have been without an official leader for almost four months.
The official coronation, which took place at the Kahenge tribal office, attracted inhabitants of the two Kavango regions who flocked to the tribal hall to witness the event. The tribal hall was packed to capacity forcing some resident to brave the scourging heat outside the hall, while others were listening through the windows to the various speakers.
The new Ukwangali leader was escorted to the Kahenge tribal office in a fancy Mercedes Benz sedan followed by a convoy of hundreds of vehicles which paraded through the main road starting from his newly established palace all the way to the hall.
The colourful event saw most inhabitants of the Ukwangali area turning up for the coronation dressed in modernised traditional attires and outfits.
High ranking government officials, business moguls and several spiritual as well as traditional authority leaders in the country were also in attendance.
The coronation, one of the biggest event ever on the Ukwangali calendar, was conducted in accordance with the customs and traditions of the Ukwangali Traditional Authority.
Siwombe, the youngest Chief among the five traditional authority Chiefs in the two Kavango regions, was officially introduced to his subjects by Jonas Haruwodi Mpasi, a brother of the late Sitentu Mpasi.
In his acceptance speech, the newly coronated Ukwangali leader said he is humbled by the trust bestowed on him by his subjects and stressed that although the task ahead of him is challenging, he is ready and steadfast to take it on with pride.
Siwombe thus invited all his subjects, irrespective of their backgrounds, to join him in confronting challenges facing the Ukwangali community.
According to him, the Ukwangali kingdom faces serious economic development challenges ranging from poverty, unemployment, lack of adequate housing, diseases amongst others.
He promised that as a new Chief, he will work tirelessly to unite the traditional authority and create an enabling environment for social economic development and business activities.
'I commit myself to work together with the Namibian government to enable us to achieve Vision 2030 and National Development Plans (NDP). The Ukwangali Traditional authority promise to avail land for development activities in order to fight poverty amongst the people, said the new Ukwangali leader.
The new Ukwangali Chief used the opportunity to assure his subjects that he will not tolerate the tendency of divide and rule, saying that as a new leader he will strive to promote peace and unity within his communities and the nation at large.
President Dr. Hage Geingob, whose speech was read on his behalf by Urban and Rural Development Minister Sophia Shaningwa, reminded Siwombe that his predecessor, the late Mpasi has left an indelible imprints on the history of the Ukwangali traditional community, and that Mpasi's legacy of dedicated and selfless services now rests on his shoulders as his inheritance.
The President indicated that as a custodian of customary laws, it is expected of him as a traditional Chief to ensure that these customary laws are applied to all his community without fear or favours as well as in a fair and just equal manner.
While it is required from you to protect, preserve and promote the culture, tradition norms and values, of your traditional community, it is equally expected from you not to promote tribalism or exclusivity. The task of promoting national unity and inclusivity as part of our nation-building agenda is equally a duty and obligations of our traditional leaders, said President Geingob.
After the official coronation, the new Chief was then escorted to his newly established palace at Mayara village where another large crowd was awaiting his arrival.
The palace was constructed with assistance from members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) and some volunteering Ukwangali subjects.
The late Mpasi was leader for 35 years. He took over from his cousin, the late Chief Joseph Kandjimi, who died in 1979.