Ausika dragged into Ukwangali chieftaincy cat fights
A section of the Ukwangali Traditional Community has accused Kavango West Governor Sirkka Ausika of betrayal after she sought audience with the Minister of Rural and Urban development Sophia Shaningwa to give the green light on the inauguration of the chieftaincy without their approval. The coronation of the new Chief was done on Saturday.
The disputed chieftainship has been a thorny issue since the death of Hompa Daniel Sitenta Mpasi late last year and has left the Ukwangali community divided on who should take over the reins.
Meanwhile the Acting Chief of the Ukwangali community, Eugene Siwombe threatening to take legal action against the Npanda Royal Family for harassing him as the new chief.
The death of Hompa Sitenta Mpasi, left his community in stitches due to the disputes of chieftaincy inheritance, and this week The Villager spoke to community members, who are boycotting the inauguration of the new Acting Chief, Eugene Siwombe.
“The inauguration is going to take place. Senior dignitaries from the government are going to be present at the event this Saturday,” said Acting Chief Siwombe, opting not to disclose the names of the government officials who will be attending.
A member of the Npanda Royal family, who spoke on the condition of anonymity was against the inauguration of Siwombe as chief saying “This inauguration is not supposed to take place because the parties who are involved did not follow traditional procedures. The petition we signed was accepted by the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa.”
According to him, the Minister requested for an investigation that was supposed to start in the first week of May, before the inauguration.
Siwombe, on the other hand, denied the allegations, saying that the minister did not cancel anything.
Siwombe accused the Npanda Royal family of greed and campaigning through the media in order to disturb his inauguration.
“The Npanda Royal family doesn’t have any royal recognition in Namibia. They are royalty in Angola. Their relative is ruling as Chief of a certain community in Angola.” He further threatened to take legal action against them, if their harassment does not stop.
The members from the Npanda Royal family shared that a great number of the Ukwangali community members are against the appointment of the Siwombe as their chief, including some elders and some members of the chief council. An allegation Siwombe has labelled a ‘total lie.’
“We followed procedure. We even called a meeting with elders and the chief council. Of the present four elderly people and chief council all of them agreed to my appointment as chief.”
The Kavango West region governor, Hon. Silka Ausiku, who is currently in Windhoek, denied allegations that she was in Windhoek to discuss Siwombe’s appointment with Shaningwa.
The governor also claims she doesn’t know anything about a petition and a letter to the Ministry. The member of the Npanda family accused the governor of not being truthful.
“The letter was given to her office and she was directed to share the content with traditional authorities,” said the disgruntled member. Siwombe stated that he was appointed by the late chief Mpusi as his successor.
He adds there was no objection and that the government doesn’t have any say in the traditional decision making. “We do our decision making following the Ukwangali Constitution and our traditional laws,” Siwombe concluded.
The Villager reported on the Ukwangali traditional community’s chieftainship dispute over a month ago, where the former Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Charles Namoloh didn’t get the clarity of the same petition. He assumed that only one person did the signing of the petition, forging other signatures on it. The person from the Npanda Royal family who talked anonymously to The Villager a month ago complaining about the appointment of Siwombe is the same person who again spoke to us on anonymous conditions.
by Donald Matthys: The Villager