Queen yaNelumbu's decision on Ohakafiya remains unchanged

15 Dec 2013 19:20pm
OHANGWENA, 15 DEC (NAMPA) - The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority (OTA) says the appointing of senior headmen for the Ohakafiya East and West districts is final and it will not organise polls for affected villagers to vote for the headmen of their choice.
The OTA council said this during a recent media briefing held at the northern border town of Helao Nafidi in the Ohangwena Region.
The OTA council convened the media briefing to state its position regarding the demands by villagers of the then Ohakafiya district for the election to be held there so that they could vote for the senior headman or headmen of their choice.
The Ohakafiya villagers also wanted Government to intervene in the matter. In a petition issued on 23 November this year, the villagers demanded the removal of Efraim Weyulu and Toivo Shiweda, who Queen Martha Mwadinomho waKristian yaNelumbu of Oukwanyama appointed as the new senior headmen a few months ago.
Weyulu and Shiweda were appointed after Ohakafiya was divided into two districts (Ohakafiya East and West) following the death of the former senior headman of that district, Job Haihambo in 2012.
Shiweda is the senior headman for Ohakafiya East, while Weyulu is the senior headman for Ohakafiya West.
Apart from disputing the appointment of Weyulu and Shiweda, the Ohakafiya villagers have also opposed the division of their district into two, saying they did not give their consent for the district to be divided.
“The OTA appointed the two new senior headmen and divided the district into two districts without consulting the Ohakafiya village headmen and the villagers,” their petition read.
The OTA council disputed this argument during the media briefing, saying the Traditional Authority Act empowers the Queen to appoint people she trusts to be heads of districts within the area of her jurisdiction without an election being held.
On the other hand, the OTA chairperson Chief George Nelulu pointed out that yaNelumbu consulted the relevant people on the ground before appointing Weyulu and Shiweda.
Nelulu provided Nampa with a letter issued by yaNelumbu on 12 July 2012 requesting Haihambo’s widow to come to the palace at Omhedi village on 13 July 2012.
“The Queen (ohamba) wanted to appoint the widow, Meekulu Loide Isak, to take over from her late husband, but she ignored the invitation after she acknowledged receipt of the letter,” Nelulu said.
He indicated that certain members of Isak’s family advised her not to honour yaNelumbu’s request for unknown reasons.
As a result, yaNelumbu decided to appoint Weyulu and Shiweda, and the OTA council is adamant that her decision will not be reversed.
“We received their petition, but there is nothing we can do to satisfy their demands,” Nelulu said.
The villagers also handed in their petition at the office of the Ohangwena regional governor, Usko Nghaamwa for assistance.