Epupa conflict suspects appear in court

27 Dec 2016 18:20pm
OPUWO, 27 DEC (NAMPA) – Twenty-four men appeared in the Opuwo Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for public violence and possession of dangerous weapons.
They were arrested for the offences on Friday.
Magistrate Leena Iyambo postponed the case to 07 April 2017 for further investigation.
The suspects told the court they will conduct their own defence.
They were granted bail of N.dollars 1 000 each.
Prosecutor Aubrey Ndlovu did not object to the bail.
The men were arrested while blocking entrance to the Epupa Camp in the Epupa Constituency with sticks and large stones for a second time after they did the same over a week ago.
Councillor of the Epupa Constituency, Nguzu Muharukua told this agency the whole situation is unlawful.
“Both the police and the community did not consult me in this regard,” Muharukua told Nampa on Tuesday shortly after the court session.
He said there will be a meeting early January between the accused, regional governor’s office, constituency office and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to resolve the matter.
A member of the concerned group, Karipetua Uarije, told Nampa earlier that they blocked the entrance to the camp because the owner does not contribute to the Constituency Development Fund like other lodges.
On his part, owner of Epupa Camp, Wouter van Zijl said the chief of the Muniomuhoro Kapika Traditional Authority instructed him to withhold his contribution to the fund because of conflict between the Kapika brothers.
Secretary to the Traditional Authority, Tungee Alfred on Tuesday confirmed to Nampa the order for Van Zijl to withhold his contribution to the Fund.
Both brothers claim to be chief and have been in conflict for years, with Hikuminue Kapika supporting the Baynes Hydro-Power Project, while Muniomuhoro Kapika objects to the proposed development.