By William J. Mbangula OSHAKATI First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba has cautioned some unscrupulous women at the forefront of disinheriting property from widowswidowers and orphans, forgetting they may be the next victims once their husbands passed away. She was speaking recently at Ongwediva at the meeting of the Organisation for the Empowerment of WidowsWidowers and Orphans of HV/Aids (OEWONA) which brought together wives of traditional leaders, female traditional leaders, female councillors, retired teachers and nurses, church leaders and many other influential people in the country. The meeting opened with a prayer by Elcin Church retired Bishop Kleopas Dumeni, and was also addressed by among others the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Rosalia Nghidinwa who spoke on the marriage of convenience, while the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN)’s Dr Tshapaka Kapolo spoke on the problems facing widowswidowers and how they could be assisted, and Reverend Magdalena Ya Shalongo, the Elcin Church Religious Counsellor at Oshakati Hospital, spoke on the counselling of widowswidowers. “I would like to caution women that there is something which they need to look into, namely, the fact that women are in most cases at the forefront of inheriting properties from other women, their claiming such properties belong to their brotherssisters uncles while at the same time forgetting the widowswidowers and orphans,” said the First Lady. “If you do that to others you may experience the same situation when your husband dies,” she added. The First Lady, who is the patron of OEWONA, deplored the fact that widowswidowers and orphans suffer most after the death of their loved ones – since all the wealth accumulated by the family over the years together is taken through unfair inheritance. “This is the biggest oppression in our country. We therefore have a great responsibility to inform and educate our people about the evil practice of making widowerswidows and children suffer. “Where there is something enough to be shared, it should be divided properly and not just be confiscated leaving the other potential beneficiaries empty-handed,” she said. A nation that has no order in homes should expect destruction of valuable traditional African values, she further noted. She also informed the meeting that the government has put in place policies that no widowerswidows should lose the place where heshe used to stay with their spouses or lose any property accumulated during the time they have been together. One of the objectives of OEWONA, said the First Lady, is to open offices in each and every constituency to empower widowswidowers and orphans with regard to income-generation, computer-literacy, teaching the people about hygiene and sanitation, strengthening HIVAIDS counselling capacity and instilling faith and confidence in the minds of infected people.
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