CORRECTION: Senior Ondonga headman denies tribalism allegations

17 Mar 2017 12:00pm
CORRECTING SURNAME IN SIXTH PARA AND LAST PARA FROM “Eino” TO “ Asino”.


OLUNO, 16 MAR (NAMPA) – The Ondonga senior headman for the Onalusheshete District, Eino Shondili Amutenya has condemned allegations of tribalism made against him.
Onalusheshete, which falls under the Ondonga Traditional Authority, includes parts of Oukwanyama.
Community members have made numerous allegations that Amutenya seized several villages from Oshikwanyama-speaking leaders, only to give it to people of his own ethnic group.
There have also been various media reports saying about 14 villages which were previously under the leadership of Oshikwanyama-speaking headmen were handed over to Oshindonga-speaking people.
The senior headman was also accused of forcefully taking and fencing off land which belongs to the Oukwanyama.
In a media conference held in the presence of OTA secretary Joseph Asino here on Thursday, Amutenya said he is aware of the reports.
“I am saddened by all these rumours that have been circulating. It is now getting out of hand and tarnishing my name,” he said.
Amutenya said the OTA does not practice tribalism and works in everybody’s favour.
He added that Onalusheshete has over 100 villages of which about 90 per cent are under the leadership of Ovakwanyama headmen.
“People are saying I am purposely dismissing the Ovakwanyama headmen, however that is not the case,” he said.
He added that the chances of an Oshikwanyama-speaking headman being fired for breaking broken rules are very high because they are in the majority, but “they are not targeted specifically”.
He also noted that some community members feel that if a headman is fired or dies, they should be replaced by a member of their family, but this is not the case.
“A village can never be inherited, so the predecessor will just be replaced by a suitable candidate of any tribe.”
In reference to the rumours of him fencing off land, Amutenya said, “no one has the right to damage someone else’s property, even if they were occupying the land illegally”.
“Those instances would only come about if the person, after being cautioned to leave the land, refuses to do so, forcing us to involve the police and take such measures,” he explained.
He added that if anybody felt their property has been damaged or their fence removed for no reason, they should take the matter to court.
On his part, Asino said the OTA is just as astonished by the allegations and hopes to resolve any problems soon.
(NAMPA)
IB/AS/PS