I was not elected to recognise traditional leaders: Geingob

14 Jul 2019 14:20pm
GOBABIS, 14 JUL (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob said he was not elected to recognise traditional authorities, as they continue with their traditional squabbles.

The Head of State made these remarks in Gobabis at the Gobabis town hall meeting on Thursday, responding to the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority (OTA) Chief, Kilus Nguvauva III’s question on why OTA is continuously denied an appointment for a courtesy visit to State House.

“If traditional chiefs cannot solve issues the traditional way as they are recognised for, why do I have to sit at State House and deal with traditional squabbles 30 per cent of my time?” asked the Geingob.

The President fumed that all Namibian tribes are fighting on kingdoms and want to blame Government [him] for not replying to the infighting of who to take over the reigns of different traditional authorities..

“Since two people are fighting, I must come in to recognise one and therefore take side, that is not my duty. I am not elected for that,” said Geingob.
The Head of State noted that there is a line ministry [Ministry of Urban and Rural Development] as well as the Council of Traditional Leaders that deal with traditional matters.

Geingob, also noted that his decision to recognise Prince Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo as the designated Omukwaniilwa (leader) of Ondonga, was to preserve the dignity of the late King Elifas Kauluma.
The Namibian leader said if traditional leaders continue to fight about leadership and want government involvement, then the traditional way of doing things should be dropped and a ‘western way’ of doing things should be adopted.

“We respect traditional leaders. However, the world is moving on and if you are at the same place, you will be left behind and have nobody to blame. If Africa is still going to stand by squabbles among ourselves the world is moving on with the fourth industrialisation,” he added.

The purpose of the countrywide town hall meetings, the first of which was the one in Gobabis, is to directly engage with inhabitants of the various regions at grassroots level and listen to their concerns and challenges, in particular the drought situation, wellbeing and collectively seek solutions as well as provide feedback on the issues raised since the last visit on September 2015.