Ombalantu demonstrates against Chief Mukulu

16 Sep 2013 06:30
OUTAPI, 16 SEP (NAMPA) - A group of community members of the Ombalantu Traditional Authority (OTA) in the Omusati Region on Friday staged a peaceful demonstration at Outapi against OTA Chief Oswin Mukulu and his council.
The demonstrating group described Mukulu, the OTA secretary Anastasia Shilimetindi, Mateus Shiimbi, Erica Nehunga, Rehabeam Uugwanga and a certain ‘Mutumbo’ as “harsh enforcers of autocratic rules”, and said they are unsuitable to serve in the OTA.
Demonstrators accused the Chief and his council of violating their traditional values and norms by allegedly “exercising flagrant nepotism” in the Ombalantu Traditional District.
Mukulu has allegedly assembled a large number of members of his close and extended family to serve on the traditional council in order to support him in enforcing corrupt practices, such as 'milking' the OTA coffers, they alleged.
“In this regard, the chief headman (Mukulu) made sure to appoint his family members as area headmen to achieve this objective,” a petition by the demonstrators read.
It added that many of the ward headmen, who inherited such wards from their ancestry, are being robbed of their wards which they claim are then transferred to either Mukulu’s family members or “henchmen”.
Demonstrators singled out Julius Taapopi (vice-chairperson of the concerned committee) of the Okafitu Kashau ward and Lucas Hailemo of Ohambalanganga ward as examples of ward headmen who were “robbed” of their wards.
They also alleged that Mukulu and his lieutenants deny anybody who differ with his council the right to drought relief food, while on the other hand they attributed a series of malpractices to the Chief, such as the confiscation of missing livestock from ward headmen, dubious allocation of land and continuous refusal of presentation of the OTA financial report.
The group demonstrated under a concerned committee under the chairmanship of Josephat Asino, and handed their petition over to the office of Omusati Regional Governor Sophia Shaningwa. They expect a response to their grievances within 30 days.
Shaningwa’s special political advisor, Reverend Fillipus Kashima received the petition on behalf of the Governor, who is anticipated to consult the relevant authorities on the matter and to provide answers to the aggrieved group in the near future.