It is official, Johannes Tweuthigilwa Mupongolitha yaJafet Mupiya is the new king of Ongandjera.
Mupiya, endorsed in August 2012 by the Ongandjera Traditional Authority and royal family, was finally presented to his people last Saturday.
The 52-year-old Mupiya is the 25th king of Ondandjera.
The event also saw the official inauguration of the palace at Uukwandongo village.
Mupiya is a nephew to the late king of Ongandjera, Jafet Malenga Munkundi, who died in July 2012 at the age of 82.
“When I talk about the people of Ongadjera, I do not exclude the non-Oshingandjera-speaking people – No! I am referring to the people born in Ongandjera, the in-laws of Ongandjera, and all the residents of Ongandjera, irrespective of their tribal origin.
“My people include Tatekulu [Dr ] Sam Nujoma, the entrusted man of the king and our Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who is also from the royal clan. She is a grandchild of Shaanika shaNashilongo [one of the late kings of Ongandjera].
“I therefore accept this responsibility with both and open hands,” said Mupiya. The event attracted thousands of people from Ongandjera, as well as kings, queens, chiefs and senior headmen from other traditional authorities from all over Namibia. Among the attendees were Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, as well as other senior government officials, including ministers and deputy ministers.
Nujoma, who was one of the main speakers, conveyed his disappointment over the ongoing tribal border disputes between various traditional authorities.
“These disputes have the potential to set our people against one another if not handled properly. Let us solve our disputes amicably and through proper channels such as the Council of Traditional Authorities which, among others, has the mandate to advise the government on matters pertaining to traditional issues,” said Nujoma.
“As you have seen from the history that was narrated, our people have always worked together and remained united. I am therefore disappointed to hear about border disputes,” said Nujoma.
President Hage Geingob’s speech was delivered by the Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa, who on behalf of the President congratulated Mupiya.
Like Nujoma, Geingob urged the new king to promote peaceful resolution of disputes that may arise among traditional authorities.
“Our country cannot afford such disputes because they will distract the attention from the important developmental work that all stakeholders in development need to focus on.
The nation expects traditional leaders to do what is expected of them, in terms of participating in the activities and programmes of the traditional leaders’ council. This is an important forum for traditional leaders to fulfill their mandate in terms of the law,” said Geingob.
Lately the country, specifically Ovawambo traditional authorities have witnessed tribal border disputes and the Ongandjera Traditional Authority is involved in one of those disputes.
Some of the Oshikwambi-speaking people had to flee from a village at the border of Uukwambi and Ongandjera tribal lands, claiming that their properties were destroyed and their lives were being threatened by Oshingandjera-speaking people who accused them of grabbing their land. Police cases were opened.
Other tribal land squabbles are between the Oukwanyama and Ondonga traditional authorities, whose disputes landed in the High Court two months ago.