By William Mbangula
The chairperson of Ombalantu Traditional Authority, Chief Oswin Mukulu, stands accused of neglecting and discriminating against one of his children here.
Grandmother to Mukulu’s 14-year-old daughter, Elizabeth Mukulu, who is doing Grade 8 at Omapopo Primary School in Uuvudhiya constituency, levelled the accusations.
According to the grandmother, Taimi Kandenge, Mukulu is withholding his identification documents, which are required to register the child for financial support from the Government.
Kandenge told New Era that she has given up trying to convince Chief Mukulu to allow his own child to be granted financial assistance because he does not want to cooperate at all.
Said Kandenge: “I even went to report him to the Women and Child Welfare Centre where he agreed to cooperate, but as soon as we left the office, he refused to release the documents.
“In fact, there was an agreement that we will meet at the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare office at Ongwediva on March 3, 2005 but he reneged on that agreement. Now it is two years since he made such empty promises. Up to now, my granddaughter does not receive any financial assistance from the Government because her father is the stumbling block. If I call him, he always switches off his cell-phone,” said Kandenge
Kandenge, 68, from Alusati village in Uuvudhiya constituency said Elizabeth’s mother, Rebecca Ashipombo, died in 2001 and ever since, she has been looking after the child without assistance from her father.
Elizabeth’s plight was brought to New Era’s attention by the Councillor of Uuvudhiya constituency, Amutenya Ndahafa, and the Chief Liaison Officer in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Kornelia Shilunga during a public rally to celebrate the Day of the Namibian child at Onaushe Primary School on Thursday.
Both officials confirmed that Elizabeth’s problems were caused by Chief Mukulu’s non-cooperation.
Approached for comment, Chief Mukulu denied that he is withholding the documents but confirmed that his daughter’s grandmother “dragged” him to child welfare offices twice for unknown reasons.
“Why should I refuse to give my documents for my child to be registered for financial assistance? I would welcome such assistance because it will alleviate the burden on me. Who was sent to collect such documents from me? I have told this lady that if my child is a problem to her, she can bring her to me, I am prepared to look after all my children at my house.”
Mukulu explained that he has many children and is able to look after them.
Asked whether he is prepared to give the documents to anyone sent to collect them, Mukulu said he would because at his age and considering his status in society, he cannot refuse something that would allow help for his child. He said those who took the matter to the media including the grandmother want to smear his name for reasons known only to them.