Maharero Authority Refutes Assertions as Rubbish

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The Maharero Traditional Authority (MTA) wishes to totally refute as utter nonsense the misleading assertions made by a certain Sam Kauapirura, a Special Advisor to the so-called Ovaherero Traditional Authority, during the live broadcast of the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) current affairs television programme, Talk of the Nation, of Monday June 9, 2008.

To the effect that all the Ovaherero Traditional Royal houses and their respective leadership were in contentment with the nomination and subsequent appointment of the Hon. Kuaima Riruako to the position of Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero people.

Hence through this letter we wish to set the record straight by stating that following the death of Chief Clemens Kapuuo in 1978, the Ovaherero community converged at Okahitua in the vicinity of Okakarara to deliberate on the modalities for the appointment of his successor.

At that meeting it was announced through the Chairman Mr Gerson Hoveka that the final decision regarding the incumbency of the vacant Chieftaincy would have to revert back to the Otjikatjamuaha (Maharero) Royal House, which together with the other Ovaherero Royal Houses were to deliberate on the matter of succession.

As a result of which Chief Kaihepovazandu Maharero representing Otjikatjamuaha, Chief Christian Zeraua representing the Zeraua Royal House, Mr Johannes Tjerije representing the Kambazembi Royal House, Gustav Kandjii representing the Otjiseu clan, held a discussion in camera, from which the name of Kaimbire Tjamuaha that was put forth by Chief Maharero, emerged.

Upon the presentation of this name to the plenary session of the meeting, Michael Kandetu from Aminuis announced to the meeting that the late Kapuuo had already designated Kuaima Riruako, who was at the time living in the US, as his preferred successor.

In protest to this U-turn, Chief Maharero led his delegation that included Fritz Katjatenja, Niklaas Tjivirura, Marcus Mujoro, Kaukau Kandjii among many others, out of the meeting.

This created a stalemate that was resolved based on the understanding that the appointment of Chief Riruako was meant to be an intermediate measure to be revisited upon Namibia’s attainment of independence.

After independence a process of consultation ensued involving the following Chiefs: Maharero, Nguvauva, Kambazembi, Zeraua, Vita-Thom and Mureti under the chairpersonship of Adv. Vekuui Rukoro, then Deputy Minister of Justice.

Although invited to attend Chief Riruako opted not to become involved. However, these deliberations continued, and culminated in the decision to the effect that Chief Riruako would be included as one of the seven chiefs within the Ovaherero/Ovambanderu communities.

Furthermore, it was resolved to abolish the position of Paramount Chief as well as that the position to be occupied by Chief Riruako in this revised traditional leadership structure was not to be inheritable as it would cease to exist upon his death.

To sum it all, Mr Kauapirura’s latest assertions should therefore be viewed as being part of nothing more than the ongoing desperate campaigns of political misinformation and cheap propaganda, being pursued vigorously with the view of bolstering the fast waning hegemony of NUDO and the decreasing relevance of its associated traditional leadership structures within the Ovaherero community.

In this regard, the MTA further wishes to register it for the record that following the 1978 stalemate, there has been numerous acts of political harassment that were directed against the person of Chief Maharero and his traditional leadership structure, which resulted in the destruction of their properties and threat to their lives.

To our dismay these acts seem to be persisting unabated in the independent Namibia, while the Namibian government seems to be unable to do anything in this regard.

This can be attested by the November 3, 2006 incident, in which premeditated acts of violence were unleashed on the followers and guests of the MTA, who assembled peacefully to witness the official commissioning and hoisting of the Namibian flag at its offices in Onderombapa settlement in the Aminuis constituency of the Omaheke region.

This similar trend was repeated with the near violent effort to derail the programme that was mounted in October 2007, during the occasion of the reconciliatory visit of the descendents of the German colonial General Lothar Von Trotha, who was responsible for orchestrating the 1904-8 genocide against the Ovaherero and Nama communities.

The Namibian government was precautioned about these threats of violence, yet in both instances failed to fully guarantee the safety of the citizens, thereby compromising their rights to peaceful assembly and political activities.

Cleophas Mutjavikua
Spokesperson: Maharero Traditional Authority

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