Ovambanderu Talks Deadlock

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By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK Talks between the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority and the Ovambanderu Concerned Group reached a deadlock on Friday evening after the two parties failed to reach consensus. The two parties could not reach an agreement regarding their dispute, which started last year and has divided the community into two groups – one led by the Paramount Chief Munjuku Nguvauva and the other by Senior Counsel Erastus Kahuure. The Deputy Minister of Regional and Local Government , Housing and Rural Development Kazenambo Kazenambo is spearheading the latest conciliation attempt as mediator in the dispute. The two groups met last week Friday for more than eight hours but failed to reach an agreement. At the centre of the controversy is the new Mbanderu constitution with its provision for a Supreme Council to oversee the affairs of the tribe, as well as the dismissal and demotion of Kahuure who was previously a senior chief but is now a senior traditional councillor under the new dispensation. Vekama Murangi, who was part of the Concerned Group delegation, told New Era that the fundamental disagreement between the two groups is still the adoption of the Ovambanderu constitution. Murangi said his group is demanding that the constitution be declared null and avoid and that a committee be set up to draft a new one. “We are requesting that a committee which will follow all the right procedures for the implementation of a new constitution be set up.” Murangi added that the other group is adamant that the constitution is already in operation and thus cannot be declared null and avoid. “The other group just wants us to go to our lawyer in order to withdraw the legal case from the court.” He added that his group will now go back to the different constituencies to brief them on the latest development and to await a new mandate. “They wanted to continue with the discussions on Saturday but we felt we are just circling around the same issue and there is no need.” However, Kauku Hengari who was part of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority delegation under Chief Nguvauva said the demand from the Concerned Group to abolish the constitution was unrealistic. “How can people just demand the constitution to be abolished if they cannot tell us what is wrong with the constitution.” Hengari said his group was ready to discuss any problems if there were any but that the Concerned Group should be specific with its demands. He added that the Concerned Group was claiming that no proper procedures were followed in drafting the new constitution but cannot stipulate the procedures. “They are saying the procedures were decided upon at the Gobabis meeting but none of the Concerned Group delegates were present at the meeting or have minutes to that effect.” Hengari said his group is still open for discussion to iron out the differences. Contacted for comment, Kazenambo said that despite the fact that no consensus was reached last week Friday, he was still optimistic that an amicable solution would be reached.

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