Zeraeua dispute hindering purchase of land

08 Oct 2013 09:00am
OMARURU, 08 OCT (NAMPA) – A dispute between two different factions of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority appears to be hampering the purchase of a piece of land which the annual White Flag Day commemorations are held on at Omaruru.
The land, on which the OvaHerero White Flag community has also built an office, still belongs to the Omaruru Town Council.
Omaruru mayor Vincent Kahua told Nampa on Tuesday that the 2 000-square metre piece of land which the OvaHerero White Flag community has named their Commando, is still the property of the town council.
Kahua said the town council has held several meetings on the issue in the past.
“The land is still the property of the Omaruru Town Council, although the White Flag community has built an office on it and continue to commemorate White Flag Day there,” he explained.
The land falls under the Zeraeua Royal Traditional Authority, and Kahua said the town council in September 2012 received letters from representatives of the two factions under the traditional authority expressing interest in purchasing the land.
“After the council received and reviewed the two letters, it was decided in a meeting that no resolution would be passed on the issue until their dispute is resolved,” noted Kahua.
Since the death of Chief Christian Eerike Zeraeua of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority early last year, there has been a lot of tension amongst the Herero community under the Zeraeua Traditional Authority.
Matters worsened in September last year when differing members under the same traditional authority installed two different chiefs as successors to the late Chief Zeraeua.
The two clans - one led 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 as both men claimed that they are the rightful heirs to the throne.
A few days after the installation of these two chiefs, a dispute was declared in court, and the two factions have been deeply divided since then.
Chief Manasse Zeraeua, however, is now recognised by Government as the rightful heir to the position of chief of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority.
Over the past weekend, hundreds of OvaHerero community members, mostly followers of Chief Manasse Zeraeua, gathered at the White Flag Commando office in Omaruru to commemorate the 87th annual White Flag Day.
The group supporting the faction of Chief Kapia did not participate in the commemorations, citing the ongoing dispute between the two groups as the reason for their absence.
The spokesperson of that faction, Duludi Ndjiharine said Kapia and his followers decided not to attend the 87th White Flag Day commemoration because of the ongoing dispute between the two groups.
He explained that the purpose of the annual event in Omaruru is, amongst others, for people to visit the graves of their ancestors and ask for luck, peace and unity.
“But now since we are still divided, there is no luck, peace and unity that we can get from our ancestors. Therefore, let us unite first and then commemorate the day together,” Ndjiharine stated.