Oukwanyama queen challenges High Court ruling

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OMHEDI, 11 January 2016 - Ohamba (Queen) Martha Mwadinomho waKristian yaNelumbu of the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority. (Photo by: Mathias Nanghanda) NAMPA

Maria Amakali

Windhoek-Queen of Oukwanyama Traditional Authority Mwadinomho Martha ya Kristian Nelumbu has approached the Supreme Court to overrule a decision by the High Court that ordered her to reinstate three headmen, who were relieved of their duties in June 2011.

In the motion she maintains that it was entirely within her rights as the traditional leader to dismiss the trio.

In March 13, 2015 the High Court had ruled that decisions to dismiss and later suspend the three headmen were unfair and unreasonable on the part of the administrative body or official responsible, thus rendering the decisions subjectt to review in terms of Article 18 of the Constitution. Further, the court gave orders that the three headmen – George Hikumwah, Sipora Weyulu Dan and Vatilifa Hangula – be reinstated with their benefits.
The three had earlier approached the court to determine whether the decisions of Nelumbu and her administration constituted fair and proper administration and whether it was within the traditional leader’s legitimate executive powers to dismiss them from duty.

The queen, together with the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority, the minister of regional, local government, housing and rural development, as well as Nghidinihamba Urias Ndilula, Elias Waandja, Samuel Mateus, Josef Kamati and Linda Nauyoma, in her appeal stated that she had acted in terms of her non-reviewable royal prerogative, which is not an administrative decision.

Nelumbu reportedly dismissed the trio following the discovery of alleged irregularities in that the communal trust fund of the Oukwanyama traditional community not in accordance with the Traditional Authorities Act.

The discovery was made some time during 2010.

It is alleged that certain funds, sourced from the community, were not paid into the designated communal trust fund account, but into a separate bank account, and that certain loans of the monies held in the Oukwanyama Community Trust Fund, were granted to beneficiaries without any resolution of the board of trustees and without following proper procedures.

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