Govt should recognise minorities’ traditional chiefs: Kulunga

04 Oct 2018 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 04 OCT (NAMPA) – A representative of the indigenous people in the Kunene Region, Tjikunda Kulunga has appealed to the government to recognise the traditional leaders of minority groups.
In an interview with Nampa on the sidelines of the National Land Conference here Wednesday, Kulunga said traditional leaders of the Ovatwe, Ovazemba and Ovahimba minority groups are not recognised by Government, which is to their disadvantage, particularly in land management and allocation.
He explained that the lack of recognition means they have no powers over areas of their jurisdiction, hence other gazetted traditional leaders “do as they please in these areas”.
“This is a cause for consternation among the previously marginalised groups, and it is no dispute these people do have their own land,” he said.
Kulunga proposed that if Government cannot recognise the traditional leaders as it comes with a cost, it should pass a regulation that at least allows them to participate in and make decisions on their land.
Some traditional leaders, particularly from the indigenous peoples of Namibia such as the San, Nama, Himba, Zemba and Twa groups, are not recognised.
These traditional leaders who are attending the land conference have also raised the issue of recognition in their presentations, saying that non-recognition by Government was the reason their communities were landless, while others said they felt their rights on land matters were ignored.
The five-day conference started Monday.