Succession Puzzle Needs Resolving

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By Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro OKESETA The Ovambanderu Senior Traditional Councillor for the Otjinene Constituency has appealed to the incumbent Ovambanderu Chief to solve the issue of his successor while he is still alive, saying this is one of the knots tied by erstwhile Ovambanderu Chief Kahimemua Nguvauva, great-grandfather of current Ovambanderu traditional leader, Chief MunjukuII Nguvauva, which needs loosening. The senior traditional leader, Jospeh Uandia, made this appeal in his vote of thanks to wind up this year’s commemoration of the Ovamabanderu heroes and heroines here, ten kilometres east of Gobabis. Delivering Chief Munjuku II’s keynote address, Aminuis Senior Traditional Councillor, Ludwig Karumendu, said where there is no respect and love there can be no cooperation. He said time for disunity is long gone. The German imperial authority and the Apartheid regime tried to divide and rule the people without any success. Equally the attempts of those trying to sow disunity among the Ovamabanderu community. He added, “Disunity does not have a home” but that respect, peace and love was the way forward. Appreciating the call for unity, Uandia nevertheless pointed out that as legend would have it Kahimemua on his death visited a curse on the land and its people by loosening the various knots on the family thong – he however did not loosen the knot of his nephew Nikodemus Nguvauva as he would trek into a strange land from where the leaders of the Ovambanderu would one day emerge? This may be the knot Uandia may have been referring to. Observers have put much of the current woes within the Ovambanderu, pitting diehards against a group that has as of late come to refer to itself as the concerned group, at the battle for succession. Albeit the two factions would not readily admit to this. Thus Uandia’s call for Chief Munjuku II to loosen the knot is nothing but an appeal to declare his successor and break the current impasse among the Ovambanderu that had its sequel in the High Court in early May this year. The concerned group challenged the procedures under which the new Ovambanderu Constitution was adopted last October. In turn the opposing group has been countering that the constitutional challenge is only a smokescreen and the real motive is the struggle for ascendancy to the traditional throne of the Ovambanderu. This in view of the fact that the position of Senior Chief, a position occupied by one of the key players to the current dispute, Erastus Kahuure, and which the others fears he may use to ascend to the throne, has been scrapped. After a few futile attempts at arbitration spearheaded by the Deputy Minister of Regional and Local Government and Housing and Rural Development, Kazenambo Kazenambo, the matter is due to have a rerun in the High Court. Meanwhile, the guest speaker at the commemoration yesterday, Omaheke Governor, Laura McLeod, said for traditional and cultural affairs to be a success all must not only be involved but sacrifice as well. She said unifying aspects must be emphasised above political, social and gender differences. She went on that Namibians could only overcome any challenges through hard work, unity, determination and discipline. The Namibians rose up as a mighty force and defeated Apartheid and brought independence to the Motherland, Similarly they must rise in unity of purpose to eradicate poverty, ignorance, unemployment, hunger and other evils stalking them everyday. Namibians must work together to shape the destiny of their country as one people regardless of the colour of their race, religion and culture. “We must leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of our national objectives. This is the only way we can pay homage to and respect the thousands of Namibian heroes and heroines who sacrificed their precious lives for our liberation.” She said the Ovambanderu and their counterparts must take unity seriously and that Namibia comprises of many clans but through unity in diversity would overcome everything in its way to achieve her goal if she works towards good relations among her people. Through their hard work, McLeod said, Namibia has already shown this can be done wishing that the spirit of their ancestors would guide Namibians towards a bright future of unity and prosperity. As the Ovambanderu commemorate 110 years of resisting German colonialism in 2006, the year should also be one of reconciliation. The event attracted a moderate crowd of Green Flag followers sprinkled with Red Flag followers. Chief Kaihepovazandu Maharero of the Royal House of Maharero, Chief Kaverirua Hoveka of the Otjimana Royal House and Chief Kanguatjivi of the San Traditional Authority in Epukiro graced the occasion with their presence while the Kambazembi Royal House and Ovaherero Traditional Authority sent representatives. By Ovaherero and Ovaherero standards of late the event proved peaceful. Mudslinging that has of late come to poison such important historic and revered gatherings was indirect and veiled with references to disunity among the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu with regard to the campaign for reparation for lost lives and property during the wars of resistance against German colonialism. Drillings by both ground paramilitary troops and cavaliers, traditional dances amidst battle cries added a special spectre to the commemoration that saw the crowd paying homage to fallen Ovambanderu heroes and heroines through a pilgrimmage to their graves. Okeseta was an Ovambanderu traditional seat during the early years of the war of resistance. Among those buried here is Munjuku I Nguvauva, father to Kahimemua Nguvauva and the great-grandfather to incumbent Ovambanderu Chief, Munjuku II. Also put to rest here is Hijatuvao Nguvauva, credited with having brought the Ovambanderu’s then White and Black Flag from Botswana to Namibia in 1931.

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