HONOURABLE Kilus Nguvauva has embarked on a misinformation crusade that creates impression that his Group has won all the court cases between the two sections of the Ovambanderu Community in his desperate effort to keep his support base intact. It has now become imperative for the record in respect of this matter to be put straight.
The classic examples that illustrate his misinformation campaign is that, inter alia, on the eve of the burial of late Peter Nguvauva at the hastily arranged press conference, the Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Hon Kilus Nguvauva referred to the number of court cases his group has won; the so-called number of court cases won by this group was again referred to by a Windhoek Observer columnist Uazuva Kaumbi on 3rd December 2010; the same were referred to by Hon Kilus Nguvauva recently in a New Era interview of May 8th, 2012. Socrates once remarked: “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance”.
It is pertinent for the members of the public in general to take note of the fact, that the section of the Ovambanderu Community that were under the late Keharanjo II Nguvauva and currently under Paramount Chief Aletha Nguvauva have explored all internal remedies within the Community to resolve the dispute. When it became clear that we have reached an impasse in the process of amicably finding a resolution, we decided to assert our alienable right by invoking our constitutional right of approaching the court of law. The same was also done by the section of the Ovambanderu Community under Hon Kilus Nguvauva when they also invoked their rights and reciprocated with litigation to prevent us from holding our meeting at the Ovambanderu HQ in Epukiro Pos 3 on 18 June 2010.
It is of utmost importance to note that after the Mbanderu dispute started in earnest in October 2005, a total of five (5) cases were ventilated in both the High Court and Supreme Court since March 2006
1. The first court case to be adjudicated upon dealt with issues of the Ovambanderu Constitution as well as the expulsion of the 11 traditional councillors that included Senior Traditional Councillor Erastus Kahuure. The matter started in the High Court in March 2007 and the judgement was delivered in April 2007.
Prior to the commencement of the hearing, the Respondents (the Group under the leadership of Honourable Kilus Nguvauva) on the advice of their Counsel conceded that the expulsion of the traditional councillors was in conflict with the principle of Article 18 (Administrative justice) of the Namibian Constitution. An agreement, that paved the way for the re-instatement of traditional councillors was reached with the Applicants (the Group currently under the leadership of Paramount Chief Aletha Nguvauva) and became a Court Order in May 2007. Thus, expulsion did not pass the litmus test of the legal doctrine. Honourable Kilus Nguvauva’s group was ordered by the Court to pay for this part of the cost occasioned by Applicant’s application.
The issue that went further for adjudication in the High Court was the adoption of the Ovambaderu Constitution. The Applicants in terms of the judgement won the first round in the High Court and the Respondents appealed the matter to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court set aside the judgement and the Applicants (now the Respondents) lost the case and they were ordered to pay the cost.
The above scenario clearly illustrates that the battles with respect to the first court case was won in the High Court by Applicants with respect to the expulsion issue and by Appellants in the Supreme Court with regard to adoption of the Ovambanderu Constitution. These are the facts that can be found in court papers and not Honourable Kilus Nguvauva’s fabrication and misrepresentation.
2. The second court case was initiated by Honourable Kilus Nguvauva and his group as Applicants and was in respect of Ovambanderu Traditional Authority Headquarters (Omimbonde Vitano) at Epukiro Pos 3. The application was submitted in terms of rule nisi. The Orders in a nutshell sought by Applicants were asking the Court to declare that the HQ belongs to the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority, and that any Omumbanderu who intends to use the property must first get permission from Senior Councillor Gerson Katjirua, and that anybody disputing this must pay the costs of the Honourable Court.
Respondents initially indicated that they will oppose the application, but upon closer scrutiny and examination decided to abandon the contestation and reached an out of court settlement with the Applicants that ultimately became a Court Order. In terms of the Court Order, Respondents (Paramount Chief Aletha Nguvauva’s group) conceded that the HQ is indeed an Ovambanderu Traditional Authority property and that they will abide by the Order to request its usage from Mr Gerson Katjirua since he is the Ovambanderu Senior Traditional Councillor responsible for Epukiro constituency. Also in terms of the Court Order, Applicants (Honourable Kilus Nguvauva’s group) were ordered to pay costs of their own one instructing lawyer and two Senior Counsellors.
The decision to abandon the contestation was based on sound strategic and tactical considerations on our part. Indeed shortly after the group currently under the leadership of Paramount Chief Aletha Nguvauva instituted a judicial review application. It is abundantly clear that the Honourable Kilus Nguvauva’s group despite them having litigated against the Respondents are the ones who in the final analysis paid their legal costs while both groups as members of the Ovambanderu Community in terms of the Court Order are entitled to enjoy and utilise the Ovambanderu Head Quarters at Omimbonde Vitano, Epukiro Pos 3. This again shows that the victory claimed by Honourable Kilus Nguvauva is once again imaginary.
3. Late Paramount Chief Keharanjo II Nguvauva submitted the third court case for adjudication. This is a judicial review application in terms of Rule 53 of the High Court. This is simply an application that request the Court to set aside Hon Ekandjo’s decision that calls for an election in the Ovambanderu Community and for the Court to declare that his initial decision that resolve that late Keharanjo II Nguvauva is the heir to the chieftaincy and thus such decision is legally binding and valid. This matter has not yet been adjudicated by the High Court because of the plethora of issues that inter alia include the unfortunate passing away of one of our most beloved and respected late Paramount Chief Keharanjo II Nguvauva, counter application submitted by Honourable Kilus Nguvauva’s group, and an intervention application by Senior Traditional Councillor Erastus Kahuure and Paramount Chief Aletha Nguvauva in respect of the review application. The High Court had set this matter on the roll for 13 June 2012.
4. The fourth and fifth court cases dealt with the burial of late Peter Nguvauva that were adjudicated upon in the High Court. Both cases were appealed to the Supreme Court. In both applications, Respondents (Honourable Kilus Nguvauva’s group) were successful but the matters are still pending (inconclusive) and sub judice. Thus any suggestion by Honourable Kilus Nguvauva that his group has won this case amounts to gross ignorance or a desperate attempt to mislead the public. The Supreme Court has set down the fifth matter (Kahuure & Other versus Ovambanderu Traditional Authority & Five others) on the roll for 20 June 2012.
And finally, although Honourable Kilus Nguvauva chooses to forget about this one for obvious reasons, he indeed lost an application he brought against Mr. Maleachi Ndisiro, a Traditional Councillor under Queen Aletha Nguvauva, the Paramount Chief Ovambanderu Traditional Authority.
Honourable Kilus Nguvauva and his group continue unabatedly to violate standing laws of this country, and by so doing cause anarchy in the daylight bringing both the names of the government and the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority in disrepute. Two examples are clear testimonies:
First, Honourable Kilus Nguvauva and his group proceeded and buried late Peter Nguvauva at the Ovambanderu Sacred Site in Okahandja without permission from Heritage Council or the Okahandja Municipality. Section 46 of the National Heritage Act (Act No. 26 of 2004) prohibits certain activities to be undertaken without the permission. It is a disgrace that a Deputy Minister, who made solemn oath and affirmation to protect, uphold and defend the Namibian Constitution, misused the law enforcement agency (Police) the latter wittingly or unwittingly to escort him to Okahandja during his illegal exercise. Yet the same person who is violating standing laws still has the audacity to claim that he has won the court case in this respect.
Secondly, Honourable Kilus Nguvauva and his group illegally and in a cowboy fashion dealt with estate of late Paramount Chief Munjuku II Nguvauva. The prosecuting authority (Prosecutor- General Office) is still having a matter that has been on their desk for the last 3-4 years now in respect of illegal distribution of an estate of late Paramount Chief Munjuku Nguvauva II without an executor as provided in Administration of Estates Act (Act No. 66 of 1965). The resources of the late Paramount Chief were looted in broad daylight in the absence of the widow, Queen Aletha Nguvauva, the Paramount Chief of the Ovambanderu Community.
Lately, it has emerged that Honourable Kilus Nguvauva, in a clandestine manner went to register the homestead at which Queen Aletha Nguvauva, the Paramount Chief of the Ovambanderu Traditional Community was left by her late husband, as his under the Communal Land Act. This he did, despite him having been already resettled on one of the state farms under the Resettlement Programme of the Ministry of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation. His action was not only in contravention of the Communal Land Act but also in contravention of the Married Persons Equality Act.
We do not know how long and to what extent of disregard for laws of this country does Honourable Kilus Nguvauva have to go before his appointing authority would feel it is imperative to call him to order.
A vote of thanks and appreciation is due to the well-wishers who continue to express the view that monies that are spend on litigation processes by both parties to the dispute could have been channelled on Ovambanderu developmental projects.
Yes, while we concur with such proposition, we are also mindful of the general global consensus that development, democracy and human rights are intrinsically linked to each other. In our case, we were forced by circumstances beyond our control as illustrated earlier on that we were not afforded opportunity to resolve the matters amicably, hence we as a matter of principle, decided to assert our rights in order to entrench the culture and respect for democracy and human rights – two aspects which are equally important because we believe that there cannot be development in the absence and respect for democracy and human rights.
• Issued by: Publicity Committee, Ovambanderu Traditional Authority Windhoek.