The former secretary of the Ondonga Traditional Office, Joseph Asino said the new office operating at Punyu Hotel, in Onethindi was necessitated by the community who was tired of being bullied at the main office, now run by the new councillors.
The office was set up to operate as a community court, and also a platform for the payments of levies, for houses and businesses.
The opening of the office was however condemned by Nepando Amupanda and the new councillors who have taken to the media to warn Ondonga community members to refrain from seeking services at the new set up office.
The suspended councillors were empowered to deal with disputes in the community. The suspended senior traditional councillors are, Josef Asino, John Walenga Peter Shimweethenleni,Tonata Ngulu, Kashona Malulu, and Fillemon Nambili.
Speaking to The Villager in a telephonic interview Asino explained that the new office is just a traditional office like the other and that the name ‘Ondonga Traditional Office’ is has not ties to the office now at Onethindi.
“The community has not received any service since April last year.
When the community would go to the other office they would be searched and verbally abused, that is the reason why they came up with setting up this office”, Asino said.
Said Asino, “The office main office was built by the community, they said they will not caught any disruption because of this office they should just look for a place where they can be assisted. They also said to set up an account to pay traditional levies. We have the blessing of the community. The community was hell bend on forcibly removing them from that office but we calmed them and told them that it will not be necessary and its not by law”.
He added he wants peace and order to be maintained in the community
“Even when they (new leadership) speaks by using the Omkwaniilwa’s name, he does not even know what is being done,” he said.
Expelled councillor, Kennedy Iilonga also told The Villager that, “as the community we decided that we wanted this new office because we did not want to get involved in a dispute with the others (new councillors). We are avoiding conflict”.
He also said that the community was not paying levies, “we had halted the payments, until now when we opened the office at Onethindi which is why they are upset. They have not authority to accept payment for headmen and the community because they have not been gazzeted. They appointed themselves. They are not known by the government authorities. The community was even closed because they had no one to listen to their cases as those who were gazzeted to do that were kicked out”.
He said the levies to the office are used to finance development within the Ondonga community.