This Year’s Okahandja Celebrations to Ignore Dignitaries

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek The Ovambanderu Traditional Authority has decided not to invite any dignitaries to their annual commemoration at Okahandja next month. In a press release signed by the Paramount Chief Munjuku Nguvauva, the Traditional Authority says that, due to the current developments within the Mbanderu Community, no dignitaries will be invited because the authority needs to restore order and observe the commemorations in peace and harmony. The media release states that there will be no speeches or addresses on the commemoration day except for those of the Ovambanderu Chief or his delegate, Senior Traditional councillors or any subordinate, as per the programme provided by Commando Number Four in Windhoek. The statement states that this year’s commemoration will be observed strictly as a cultural event. The Traditional Authority, however, said all friends are welcome to partake in the commemoration in their personal capacities and to observe the many cultural activities lined up for the day. Nguvauva says that once matters have normalized, the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority will communicate officially, through him, with senior government officials and distinguished dignitaries in this regard. A member of the Mbanderu Community who spoke on behalf of the Traditional Authority, Kauku Hengari, said the invitation of dignitaries usually disrupts the performance of the traditional rituals. The Ovambanderu Community is split into two factions following the adoption of a new constitution almost two years ago by the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority. Some of the members of the community objected to the new constitution. The adoption of the constitution led to 11 traditional leaders, including Senior Chief Erastus Kahuure, being removed from their positions. Kahuure and the other expelled traditional authorities took their matter to the Windhoek High Court where a bitter legal battle ensued. In the end, he won the case. However, the Traditional Authority is not happy with the court ruling and has since lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court. This year, the commemorations will be the one hundred and eleventh (111th).