Windhoek-Chief Eugene Siwombe Kudumo of the Ukwangali Traditional Authority still remains the chief of the Vakwangali, says the Chairperson of the Ukwangali Traditional Chiefs Council, Christian Shimuketa.
Shimuketa said this in a statement read on his behalf by Joseph Kandjimi, the former chairperson of the Chiefs Council, at a press briefing on Wednesday.
The Ukwangali Traditional Authority has also dismissed reports that Kudumo is no longer the chief of the Vakwangali, saying the information is misleading.
‘‘That information is not true and is misleading the public’’ Shimuketa said. He assured the Vakwangali subjects that the palace and the Ukwangali tribal offices that were rumoured to have closed were still open to the public.
The chairperson said that they enthroned Kudumo according to the customs and traditions of the Vakwangali and that of the Traditional Authorities Act, No. 25 of 2000.
According to Traditional Authorities Act of 2000, a chief means the supreme traditional leader of a traditional community designated in accordance with section 4 of the Traditional Authorities Act.
A faction led by Severinus Siteketa that also comes from the Ukwangali royal house has been contesting Kudumo’s chieftaincy.
Kudumo coronation as chief of the Vakwangali took place in 2015 following the demise of his grandfather Chief Sitentu Mpasi in 2014.
However, a former member of the chiefs council, Severinus Siteketa has challenged his chieftainship since his coronation in 2015, arguing that they chose Kudumo unprocedurally.
Siteketa maintained Vakwangali elders were supposed to evaluate four candidates from different royal families to choose the late Mpasi’s successor.
In his quest to stop Kudomo from coronation, Siteketa wrote a petition to the then Minister of Regional and Local Governance, Major-General Charles Namoloh (Rt.).
On Wednesday the two factions, briefly appeared in the High Court over the issue as to who is the legitimate successor of the late Chief Mpasi, but the court postponed the case to 8 March this year.
However, according to Kandjimi, a court order gave an ultimatum for Thursday instructing the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa to mediate in the case and take a decision on who should be the chief of the Vakwangali.
In Kandjimi’s words, Shaningwa chose Kudumo as the rightful successor to the vakwangali throne, saying they followed the right procedures and in addition the late Chief Mpasi, appointed Kudumo as his rightful successor to the throne.
‘‘According to our customs and traditions, we do not conduct elections for a chieftainship. Our customs should not be changed,’’ Shimuketa stated.