OTA seeks urgency for its case

ONDANGWA, 15 April 2017 - Four Ondonga senior councillors who were suspended last Thursday, held a public meeting on Saturday at Oluno near Ondangwa, where they told those present that their suspension is illegal and as such they remain in their positions. These councillors are John Walenga (standing), Vilho Kamanya, Peter Kauluma (chairperson of the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA) Council) and Joseph Asino (secretary of OTA Council), as well as junior councillors, Kashona Kamalulu, Joseph Akawa, Tonata Ngulu and Fillemon Nambili. Walenga is seen here addressing the meeting while behind him are Ondangwa Mayor Paavo Amwele, Kamanya and Kauluma. (Photo by Mathias Nanghanda) NAMPA

Staff Reporter

The controversies surrounding the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA) and its queen took centre stage in the High Court last Friday with the applicant seeking that the matter be heard with utmost urgency by the court.

Advocate George Coleman who represented the OTA and John Walenga informed the court the traditional authority cannot and is unable to deliver essential services to the community as the OTA offices have been closed and suspended councillors are unable to carry out their duties, thus the urgent application.

“The community court already has a backlog and the current state of affairs is prejudicial to the community as cases are piling up,” explained Coleman.

The OTA approached the court last month on an urgent basis stating that the traditional authority is on the verge of being destroyed by Queen Sesilia Ndapandula Elifas as she has illegally taken over the responsibilities of the king who allegedly is currently frail.

Furthermore, she is abusing her powers as the queen for her own personal interests and for her own private gain, according to the lawsuit.

In the affidavit by the OTA, signed by suspended senior councillor John Walenga, the traditional authority is seeking a court order to have King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas evaluated by two medical doctors, including a psychiatrist, to determine his general state of physical, emotional and mental health; for the queen to stop meddling in the affairs of the kingdom and other related matters of power, duties and functions of the king and the OTA as a whole; to grant senior councillor Peter Shimweefeleni and the supposed successor Fillemon Nangolo Shuumbwa (who is alleged to have been denounced by the king on April 13) access to the king without interference of the queen, and for OTA as a whole to have unrestricted access to King Elifas in matters related to the powers, functions and duties of the king and its members.

The queen through her lawyer, Advocate Elia Shikongo, denied all allegations made against her, furthermore informing the court that Walenga had no right to represent OTA as a whole as he has been suspended with seven other senior councilmen. However, Walenga rebuked such claims, adding that he never received a letter informing him of his suspension.

The court then dismissed the application by the OTA to have the matter heard in private, which would have denied the public and the media access to the proceedings, stating that the matter has been made public already as all documents are circulating on social media.
Judge Shafimana Ueitele set down the matter for May 8.


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