Through your reputable, informative and unbiased newspaper, the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority hereby wishes to respond to the unfair and untrue charges made against it by Mr William Mbangula through the Government funded newspaper, New Era, on Monday, 19 November 2007 No.
78 on pages 1 and 2, again on Friday, 23 November 2007 No. 82 on page 12 and lastly on Tuesday, 27 November No. 84 on page 4.
Fighting with his sibling over his father’s village, having been told to amicably settle the dispute among his family members and having deep-seated vested and conflict of interest in decisions of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, Mr William Mbangula is disputing the decision of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, which suspended Senior Headman, Mr Lukas Shinedima, for a period of six months as per rule No. 4.2 and 4.3 of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority.
Further, we find Mr Mbangula’s journalistic dispositions, writings and reporting the decision of our Traditional Court highly unprofessional and wanting. Mr Mbangula infers the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority and its Queen of incompetence and of being run by failed politicians: a charge we repudiate and dispel as divisive, erroneous, fallacious, politically motivated, misplaced, misleading and irresponsible at best.
Its underpinning objective seems to taint our institution with a bad picture of irresponsibility and lack of leadership. In addition, Mr Mbangula’s actions seemly and badly border on playing dirty divide-and-rule realpolitik.
In the above respects, let us put the record straight as it were. At its last sitting this year, which took place at Omhedi on 11 December 2007, Oukwanyama Traditional Authority responded to Mr Mbangula in the New Era.
However, New Era decided not to publish the response of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority. We will repeat the same responses as :
1. Mr Lukas Shinedima, a Senior Headman of Okelemba in Oukwanyma, Ohangwena Region, served his area of his jurisdiction for a long time. Within his jurisdiction, Mr Shinedima has the right to make minor and major judgments. Outside his jurisdiction of Okelemba, Mr Shinedima also provided information and advice to the Council of Traditional Leaders where major cases that went beyond the jurisdiction of Okelemba and other jurisdictions are introduced, heard and final judgments are made. Within the Council of Traditional Leaders, Mr Lukas Shinedima together with other Senior Headmen such as late Mr Gabriel Kautwima, late Mr Johannes Kalomo (Kalimbo), late Mr Victory Weyulu to mention but a few, met to make collective decisions:
2. At its sitting on November 2007, Oukwanyama Traditional Court meticulously examined six allegations brought before the Court by many residents of Okelemba against Senior Headman, Lukas Shinedima. After having carefully heard and considered these allegations, the Oukwanyama Traditional Court found Mr Shinedima guilty in all cases brought against him.
Therefore, it is most unfortunate that the author of the articles in New Era apparently knew only one case, that of the cattle of Mr Lukas Nghiitwikwa.
His vested interest, as is revealed in the New Era of 19 November 2007, appears to be on this one particular case only whilst casting a deliberate blind eye to the other five cases. The writer, Mr Mbangula and his skewed sources of information seem to know the whereabouts of the cattle of Mr Lukas Nghiitwikwa, duly alleged to have been taken possession of by Mr Lukas Shinedima. On the contrary and unless Mr Mbangula can come to this Traditional Court revealing information about the whereabouts of the mentioned cattle, on more than two occasions when these cases were presented before the Traditional Court, Mr Shinedima did not reveal the whereabouts of those cattle. It was the first time the whereabouts of those cattle were made known by the writer, Mr Mbangula:
3. Let it be clearly registered that Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, like other Traditional Authorities in our Republic, has the cardinal responsibility of maintaining peace, unfettered neutrality, tranquility, justice, fairness and truth within its decisions and society at large. In this regard, Oukwanyama Traditional Authority expects same from those, like Mr Mbangula, who have been entrusted with the public responsibility of reporting to set unfettered good exemplary acts to the Oukwanyama community, our nation and the international community, to which New Era’s readership reaches. For the more is given, the more is required from us all:
4 In the above mentioned New Era, the writer, Mr Mbangula, is trying to drag the Queen and her kingdom into party politics. For this very cogent reason, it needs to be restated here that the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority (the Queen and her Kingdom) is recognized and re-established by the laws of the Republic of Namibia such as article 102 (5) of the Constitution of this land and by an Act of Parliament of the said Republic, Act No. 13 of 1997. To this end, we want to collectively make it categorically clear to all interested that Oukwanyama Kingdom is the Kingdom for all Ovakwanyama People.
These people embrace and belong to different faiths, political parties, get treated at different hospitals, public and private and own and work for different businesses. As such, for all Ovakwanyama to feel free to visit their Kingdom, a strict standard of unfettered neutrality was, is and will be upheld.
Having said that, let it be emphatically underscored here that this Kingdom has never been, is not and will never be a Kingdom of, or for, any political party:
5. In addition to being the Kingdom for all, the Ovakwanyama welcome people of all races, colour, culture, language, tradition and political affiliation as long as they adhere to the law of the Republic of Namibia and those of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority. Like armies, businesses, churches, hospitals and police that maintain stringent neutrality, Oukwanyama Kingdom does not exist to propagate or promote views of any political parties, but ours is to ensure that traditional norms, values, relics, and rules are developed, promoted, respected, maintained and , let us face it, sustained and that peace and justice for all, law and order are upheld; and
6. In the above respects, unless Mr Mbangula, his handlers and Mr Shinedima come up with convincing shreds of evidence, the decision of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, which Mr Mbangula disputes without facts, shall prevail as is.
And Chairperson Of and On Behalf of Oukwanyama Traditional Authority