Calling the Ovambanderu Supreme Council

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Kae on Friday Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro The Ovambanderu Supreme Council, the highest decision-making body of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority, meets once again at the traditional seat of this cultural community in the Epukiro Constituency of the Omaheke Region. I hope, and I trust others as well who are sensitive to boasting of being bona fide Ovambanderu, do hope that all and sundry who truthfully carry the welfare of the Ovambanderu at heart and have honestly been disturbed by the recent cold war among this group, the Supreme Council, realises the importance of this gathering. Lately more often than not, one has seen extremely blatant narrow parochial interests driven by blind political ambitions and propelled by selfish imagined economic wants being fronted and touted unashamedly as the interests of the Ovamban-deru. The irony is that these self-justified culprits have been people who by some fairytale figment of their imaginations think they are the original Ovambanderu, obviously not of and from this world or region for a few of this species can be found in Namibia today. These demigods, no doubt have visited the state of near oblivion in which the Ovambanderu today find themselves, upon them. Likewise the inability of this cultural group to rise above of what is essentially a petty internal squabble and focus on their common destiny, that is to maintain their dignity as a cultural group that only assumed real recognition and full meaning after independence. This weekend’s Supreme Council meeting has long been coming. One after the other previous meetings of this body have proven abortive of late, with the various protagonists considering them as their own private turf. Not this weekend’s one. Not when the court case that was once and for all to bury the hatchet between Chief Munjuku II Nguvauva’s self-styled blue-eyed boys, and their seemingly espoused adherents personified by erstwhile Senior Chief Erastus Kahuure, was stopped in its tracks. This was presumably to allow the parties to come to terms at reconciliation talks that died before they were hatched. Hats off of course to the Deputy Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Kaze-nambo Kazenambo. He must have been very brave to attempt to shoulder the arduous task he volunteered for mindful of the worsening impact the fall-out has been having on his kith and kin, Chief Munjuku II’s already precarious health. His courageous bid notwithstanding, the forces of destruction and doom prevailed. Not as if there was any inch of hope that KK would cast away the curse that by some strange omen has been visited upon this cultural group. Not given the entrenched positions and terminal intransigence some of the agents of disunity masquerading as peacemakers and concerned Ovambanderu seem to suffer from. And of course the awe of the ancestors. With the presumed reconciliation talks or “review proceedings” in legal parlance, it may just as well be back to the court battle. Of course one would not want to deny the Supreme Council the last benefit of the doubt. But only if it has learnt something from the drawn-out standoff. But one Supreme Council meeting after another of late has shown this body to be a slow learner if not confused or deliberately misguided. However, the matter has reached unthinkable proportions in Ovambanderu cultures where a section is this year contemplating shunning ancestral pilgrimages to holy Ovambanderu shrines like Okahandja to pay homage to fallen heroes and heroines. The pilgrimage to Okahandja where of all Ovambanderu heroes and heroines, Kahi-memua Nguvauva must be turning in his grave because of the circus that has been unfolding among his people, is only next week. Kahimemua was not only a hero but also many an Omumbandeu year-ly looks forward to June every year to be imbued with his spirits. But not so for some this year. For those who may dare to attend one never knows how kindly his spirits may take to them. Simply put, it is a matter of death that when time comes next week for the community to expiate itself spiritually in Okahandja, the Supreme Council would have solved the matter. The Supreme Council should not abrogate itself the solver of the matter. People on it who are objective and balanced at this juncture are few and far between. On the other hand, as much as those deeply engulfed in the dispute may not want to admit, there are still well meaning, forthright men and women of sound wisdom and judgment the Supreme Council may turn to this weekend. It would not only be prudent for the council to invite them to its meeting this weekend, but it will be a decision that it will forever cherish. And the ancestors will forever smile on it. The observer presence of the likes of KK, Dr Ndjoze-Ojo, the list is endless, may in the final analysis be of no harmful consequence. On the contrary the Supreme Council may find relief in unbundling from its lap some of the elements it has been warmly courting.