Ondungulu village headman refuses drought relief food

25 Aug 2013 10:30
ONANDOVA, 25 AUG (NAMPA) – Residents of Ondungulu village in the Onandova District of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority (OTA) in the Ohangwena Region are accusing their village headman, Wilbard Kapula of starving them.
The residents on Friday held a demonstration at the homestead of the senior headman of Onandova District, Elias Waandja, to express their unhappiness.
They accused Kapula of leaving them hungry by refusing to accept bags of maize meal donated a week ago by the Queen of Oukwanyama Martha Mwadinomho waKristian yaNelumbu.
The maize meal bags were to be distributed to the villagers as part of the OTA’s contribution to the drought relief food distribution programme.
YaNelumbu and her traditional council recently resolved to use their own funds to buy 2 000 bags of 12.5kg maize flour to be given to people who are going hungry in the Oukwanyama District so as to meet the government halfway in its effort to feed people who are starving as a result of this year’s drought situation.
Each senior headman of the OTA’s 10 traditional districts of Omungwelume, Ohaingu, Weyulu laHedimbi, Omhedi, Onamutai, Onamhinda, Eudaneko, Ohakafiya, Onandova and Okongo received 200 bags for free distribution.
The protesting residents of Ondungulu village alleged that Kapula refused to accept the bags apparently because they had been donated by opposition political organisations.
Waandja handed over six bags to the protesting villagers on Thursday, and expressed shock and disbelief over Kapula’s refusal of the donation, which was meant to feed people who fall under his leadership.
Waandja told Nampa during the villagers’ protest that Kapula is one of the three village headmen who are always unwilling to attend the district’s leadership meetings for reasons only known to themselves.
Dave Kasheshe of Onamahoka village and Andreas Shapu of Onheleiwa village are the other two village headmen who are also unwilling to attend the district leadership meetings where the affairs of the whole district are collectively discussed.
“They (Kasheshe and Shapu) also refused to accept the maize meal bags like Kapula, but this time around I am going to call an urgent leadership meeting for my district to decide what action to take against them,” Waandja stated.
He explained that he wants each of his subjects to live happily at the district, and people who are unhappy should honestly speak out their grievances through the established channels.
When approached telephonically to give his side of the story, Kapula said: “I know only of drought relief food distribution by the regional councillors, and I have never before seen a traditional authority donating drought relief food.”
He also said he does not recognise Waandja as the senior headman (elenga) of Onandova district, arguing that he (Waandja) is just an ordinary villager.
“I did not prevent anybody to receive maize meal from Waandja, as long it is not through me,” Kapula stated, before refusing to give further comment.
Kasheshe and Shapu were not immediately available for comment. Onandova district has 33 village headmen.