Ondonga and Oukwanyama border dispute continues

15 Aug 2015 09:50am
ONAMUNGUNDO, 15 AUG (NAMPA) – The Ondonga Traditional Authority will soon re-submit its border dispute case, which the High Court in Windhoek removed from the roll last month.
Secretary of the Ondonga Traditional Authority, Joseph Asino made the announcement during a media conference held at the Ondonga Palace in the Onamungundo village near Ondangwa on Thursday.
Ondonga King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, his wife Secilia, as well as a few of members of the King’s Council were present during the announcement.
The Ondonga Traditional Authority approached the High Court in 2013 to make a ruling in the border dispute between the authority and the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority.
The dispute centred around the border line at the Oshuudhiya village in the east of Ohangwena Region’s Okongo Constituency, along the two Kavango regions and former Owambo border line.
The two authorities’ leaders - Elifas and the late king of Oukwanyama, Kornelius Mwetupunga Shelungu - signed an agreement aimed at reaching amicable solution to the dispute on 14 March 2004.
South of Oshuudhiya was declared part of Ondonga and north of Oshuudhiya was placed under the jurisdiction of Oukwanyama as per the signed agreement.
Ondonga Traditional Authority leadership says the said agreement remains valid, but the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority leadership dishonored the agreement, arguing that the late Shelungu was not mandated by his people to sign it.
The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority claimed that Shelungu was lured to sign the agreement at the time he was suffering from ill health.
This prompted the Ondonga Traditional Authority to approach the High Court to help resolve the issue, but Acting Judge Miller removed the matter from the court roll on 27 July.
Miller said at the time that he did not dismiss the Ondonga Traditional Authority's case against its Oukwanyama counterpart, but instead ordered that the application be struck from the court roll with costs.
This allows the Ondonga Traditional Authority to rectify their shortcomings in its case and return to court at a later stage.
Asino said during the media briefing that the court removed the matter from its roll on the grounds that other interested parties such as the government, Council of Traditional Leaders, Kavango, Oshikoto and Ohangwena communal land boards, residents and farmers in the area of dispute were not involved.
He noted that Elifas and his King’s Council “will comply with the court order and cite all the parties referred to before referring the matter back to the court for a final determination with the inputs of all parties”.