Are Prominent Politicians Backing Power Struggle over Ohaingu?

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By William Mbangula OHANGWENA Senior headman for Ohakafiya District in Ohangwena Region, Job Haihambo, has denied allegations that there are two headmen for Onaimbungu village, which is under his jurisdiction. The power struggle for the control of Onaimbungu village was the subject of discussion yesterday, November 14, by Oukwanyama Traditional Authority (OTA) following allegations that the OTA was confusing villagers as to who the legitimate leader of the village is. According to sources, the OTA had approved its own headman and at the same time allowed the community to elect a headman of their choice. As a result, it is alleged, there are two leaders in the village. Haihambo denied the allegations saying that under no circumstance did he or the OTA approve any elections to take place in the Onaimbungu village. He explained that the legitimate leader of Onaimbungu village is Junias Kapenda who has been in charge of the village since 2004. He dismissed the alleged elected headman Nghiningwa Kapahu as not having the blessing of either himself or the OTA. Onaimbungu village became leaderless after the death of Phillipus Kashikola in 2002. Meanwhile, New Era was reliably informed that an imminent power struggle was brewing in the Ohaingu district which was under the late Senior headman and OTA Chairperson, Victor Weyulu, who passed away last year. Although the district is currently under the Councillor of Engela Constituency Urias Nghidinihamba Ndilula as acting Senior headman, relatives of the late Weyulu are still vying for the top traditional position. Among the potential aspiring candidates is the brother of the late Weyulu, Mandume, his sister Sipora Weyulu, the wife of former senior headman of Okelemba, and ex-DTA parliamentarian, Gottlieb Dan, as well as the headman of Onaihanga village, Zulu Shangheta. The power struggle following the death of Weyulu as senior headman last year is not only aimed at the district leadership itself, but also the very village of Ohaingu which also became leaderless following the death of the village headman, a certain Nakakoti, last year. Speaking at the full sitting of OTA at Ohangwena yesterday, Ndilula noted that it is the prerogative of Queen Martha Nelumbu of Ovakwanyama to to appoint the most suitable candidate for the position of Ohaingu district. He said this can only happen after the Queen has scrutinized all the potential candidates and satisfied herself about the outcome of the screening process. From the look of things, it appears that the OTA wants to brush aside all speculation of a power struggle, but some members of the affected community are talking openly about this. It is alleged that the late Weyulu had entrusted the district leadership into the hands of Ndilula and Shangheta, but the duo have apparently now become rivals in the contest for the position. Each of them claims to have been the last to be given such a responsibility. New Era was also reliably informed that part of the Master Plan of the power struggle backed by some prominent politicians is to install Ndilula as senior headman of Ohaingu and then push for the subsequent removal of current Chairperson of OTA, George Nelulu. This, however, could not be independently confirmed.