Govt intervention sought in Zeraeua leadership dispute

10 Sep 2015 18:20pm
WINDHOEK, 10 SEP (NAMPA) - The community under the Zeraeua Traditional Authority is seeking immediate Government intervention in the ongoing dispute between two opposing clans fighting for the chieftaincy of the Zeraeua Royal House.
In 2013, tension rocked the OvaHerero community residing under the Zeraeua Traditional Authority area when the two opposing clans started fighting for the chieftaincy of the royal house following the death of the late Chief Christian Eerike Zeraeua in the same year.
In that year, matters got so bad that the two clans – one lead by the late Zeraeua’s son Manasse Zeraeua and the other by Raphael Hiangungo Kapia of the Ovakweyuva Notjipepa clan – each held separate coronations for their chosen leaders at different venues in the same year (2013) as both men claim they are rightful heirs to the throne.
On Thursday, the community held a media conference at the OvaHerero Commando Hall in Katutura where they appealed for immediate intervention by both President Hage Geingob and the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa in the ongoing chieftaincy squabble between the two clans.
Manfred Verikende Rukoro, who spoke on behalf of the community at the media conference, said it has been three years since the departure of the late Chief Christian Zeraeua and his successor is still to be appointed.
“We went through many processes, including litigation, followed by an investigation committee appointed by the former Minister of the then Ministry of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Jerry Ekandjo, to conduct investigation on the matter. This happened in October 2014, and the report or the outcome of this investigation is still pending close to a year later,” he said.
Rukoro went on to say the community's patience in respect of a solution to the leadership dispute is running out as they say they have been silent for too long.
“Our wishes have always been that this matter will be handled with utmost care and a sense of tolerance in order to overcome unnecessary disagreements and division and avoid further polarisation of this once united traditional community, hence our humble request for immediate intervention by President Hage Geingob,” he stated.
The community wants the President to step in and direct that the matter be addressed in a manner that will help restore peace and harmony among the members of the Zeraeua traditional community.
The late Christian Zeraeua took over the chieftaincy from his uncle, Chief Kapia, following Kapia’s death in 1979.
Kapia is also Raphael Kapia’s father, hence that clan’s argument that he should now take over as chief.
The other clan, however, feels that the late Zeraeua’s son, Manasse, should take over as chief.
Their view was also endorsed in 2013 when former Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Jerry Ekandjo in a letter announced that Government recognises Manasse Zeraeua as the heir to his father’s throne.
It is reported that in a letter by Christian Zeraeua, the late chief made it clear that the Ovakweyuva Notjipepa clan should nominate the next chief, just as he was nominated in 1979.