The Ovambanderu Concerned Group is shocked and dismayed by the malicious and slanderous statements and unfounded allegations levelled against it in a statement that appeared in New Era, 23 November 2007 under the heading “Ovambanderu Authority Not Linked to the RDP”.
It appears that there is a desperate attempt by either some members of the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority and/or individuals in the community to distance themselves from the new political party, namely the RDP that emerged recently on the Namibian political landscape.
In principle, their action is justified if distancing themselves from the RDP is directed against the very same colleagues whom they were consulting in the past on the formation of the new party.
It is an open secret that was confirmed by some of those who publicly joined the new party, that this idea was harboured by top officials as well as technocrats within the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority.
This is the rationale why most of the top key advisers of the Authority left for the new party. It is therefore morally unjustified now to turn around like a bulldog and start a street fight on an issue that is purely political and in the process involves the Ovambanderu Concerned Group – a group that is purely and primarily concerned with a dispute on Ovambanderu traditional affairs.
The respondents (the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority and Paramount Chief Munjuku Nguvauva II) to the Ovambanderu dispute which was heard in the High Court must solve their current crisis internally instead of involving the Ovambanderu Concerned Group.
The Concerned Group is not involved in disseminating any information electronically, in print or otherwise, asserting that the Paramount Chief joined the new political party. At no point did the Ovambanderu Concerned Group concern itself with political issues since the group’s inception in October 2005.
We acknowledge that we are one group with people from diverse political backgrounds – a background that is diverse in terms of political entities, but entities that were primarily common in terms of adherence to the principles of decolonization as developed both by the UN as well as the National Liberation Movement.
On the contrary, some members of the respondents are having records of having been collaborators with the racist regime of South Africa. There is no iota of truth that the Ovambanderu Concerned Group is engaged in attempts to wrest control from the Paramount Chief.
This has been argued in the High Court of Namibia and there is no single evidence to support that assertion.
It is a well-known fact that the majority of the Ovambanderu people supported the agenda of the National Liberation Movement spearheaded both by SWANU and SWAPO.
But if there are elements who are pleasure and or fortune seekers and who can better derive benefits by distorting the history of the Ovambanderu Traditional Community by associating the community with SWAPO as far as the mid-70s, they are at liberty to do that.
However, the truth is that the discussion on joining SWAPO was held in mid-1988, barely a few months before the agreement on UN Resolution 435 was reached in Geneva in December 1988. Since the current decision of the Traditional Authority to align itself to SWAPO was discussed at an official community platform, one would expect that decision to be revoked at the same forum, before a decision to realign differently can be taken.
The Mbanderu Traditional Authority’s assertion that those members of its community who attended the launching rally of the RDP did so “simply out of curiosity” is devoid of the truth. The Monday, 12 November 2007, prior to the launch, some key advisers to the Paramount Chief announced publicly on the OtjiHerero Service of the NBC that they did not only join the RDP, but rather they were instrumental in the formation of the party.
Their presence at the rally therefore cannot be construed to be on account of curiosity but rather a testimony to the fact.
The purported vigilance of the Traditional Authority of destroying some forms of its members who were supposedly registered on the basis of gauging their support for the Paramount Chief in the ongoing court case begs one fundamental question: “Why didn’t the Authority use the same vigilance to publicly expose such elements?”
In addition, one expects truthful and loyal party members, most especially those high-ranking political office-bearers to have proactively brought such to the urgent attention of the SWAPO Party.
The Ovambanderu Concerned Group advocates and argues members to adhere to the Rule of Law, to enhance democracy, to foster cohesiveness and unity and to instill discipline.
In this regard, the Namibian Constitution, Traditional Authority Act and the Principles of Natural Justice are our three guiding documents.
The Concerned Group feels it is not late for the Ovambanderu Traditional Community through its Traditional Authority to reassert once more the standing, trust and confidence the other communities have bestowed upon us by invoking Section 14 of the Traditional Authority Act.
Members, including traditional leaders, should have their political opinions but they should not bring the functioning of their communities in disrepute.
Paul Unanuavi Kahorere uaKavari
The Ovambanderu Concerned Group