Kambazembi chief suspends councillors

10 May 2016 12:50pm
OTJIWARONGO, 10 MAY (NAMPA) - Eight councillors of the Kambazembi Traditional Authority were last week suspended by their leader, Chief Sam Kambazembi, in what now seems as retaliation for their vote of no confidence passed in the chief.
The suspended traditional councillors include chairperson of the Kambazembi Traditional Authority Council Vetondouua Maharero, Elexander Patengua Tjihokuru, Frans Mieze, Gotfried Uasukuani, Justice Kahindua Uapimbi, Daniel Tjiuma, Else Zuree Kaveterua and Jeftha Kuhanga.
Majority are senior traditional councillors under the Kambazembi Traditional Authority and head the communal settlements of Okakarara, Okondjatu, Okamatapati, Otjituuo, Gam and Ovitoto.
These eight councillors had in January this year passed a vote of no confidence in their chief, claiming the traditional authority has known of no peace since Kambazembi came into power in October 2014.
They accused the chief of mismanagement and abuse of power; misuse of traditional authority funds; and consuming alcohol in public and at community meetings.
The councillors said Kambazembi had recently replaced them with eight traditional councillors, which is against customary law.
They then demanded his immediate removal from his post as chief, and subsequently informed Otjozondjupa Regional Governor Otto Ipinge about their grievances in a letter dated 19 January 2016.
Speaking on behalf of the suspended councillors on Tuesday, Maharero said Kambazembi was already suspended from his position on 16 February 2016 by members of the Kambazembi Royal Family.
Maharero was referring to the 10 members of the Kambazembi Royal Family, who in February withdrew powers they vested in their traditional leader.
The 10 men call themselves “elders of Onguatjindu”.
Maharero said Chief Kambazembi therefore cannot issue suspension letters, while the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development had taken note of their concerns.
“This suspension does not make any sense, because he (chief) is even being investigated by the police for misusing funds of the traditional authority,” Maharero said.
Chief Kambazembi on Monday confirmed suspending the eight for a period of five years, and accused them of insubordination.
He said the councillors had damaged the good reputation of the Kambazembi Traditional Authority by alleging that he abused his power, misused traditional authority funds and consumed alcohol at community meetings.
Kambazembi also expressed disappointment in the councillors for accusing him of belonging to the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) political party, while he does not.
He had allegedly summoned them to attend meetings in January and February this year, which they boycotted without explanation.
The chief said he then ordered them to appear for disciplinary hearings at Okakarara but they refused to attend or submit written reasons for their not showing.
Kambazembi said in the suspension letters that he will write to the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to remove their names from the Government Gazette as members of the Kambazembi Traditional Authority and replace them with the new names.
Chief Sam Kambazembi succeeded his late brother Uaakutjo Kambazembi in 2014.
The Kambazembi Royal House or traditional authority is recognised by the Namibian Government.