Ondonga chief pulls trigger on councillors

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Nuusita Ashipala

Ongwediva-Chief Immanuel Kauluma Elifas has replaced the four suspended senior traditional councillors and dismissed the suspended junior traditional councillors, with the exception of Onathinge headman Josef Akawa, who was recalled to his position.

The appointment of new councillors has been effective from last Friday.
Former senior traditional councillor John Walenga for Ondangwa District has been replaced by Erastus Mvula, popularly known MvulaMunyango, who will now lead Ondangwa A, while Mayor of Ondangwa Paavo Amwele has resumed leadership of Ondangwa B.

The Ondangwa District has now been divided into two. Rainhold Nepolo has replaced Josef Asino at Oniiwe District, while Naeman Fillemon Kambala replaced Vilho Kamanya at Amuteya.

Acting OTA secretary Nepando Amupanda was appointed to replace Peter Shimweetheleni at Onguta ya Netanga and is mandated to remain acting secretary of Ondonga Traditional Council until further notice.

Chief Elifas has also appointed Naeman Amalwa, a senior traditional councillor of Oniimwandi District, as his official press aide.

The chief further appointed three members of the royal family to serve as members of the OTA. The three appointees are Selma Sheyavali, Konisa Kalenga and Ester Gwashamba Nepando.

Junior traditional councillors Kashona Malulu, Tonata Ngulu and Fillemon Nambili have officially been dismissed from all OTA duties.

Following the suspension of the councillors in April, an investigation was launched, upon completion of which the suspended councillors were summoned to appear before a disciplinary hearing twice, but did not turn up – with the exception of Akawa.

New era has learned that summons were issued and served upon all OTA councillors. None, except Josef Akawa, appeared before the hearing proceedings. Owing to “this wilful forfeiture of their right to be heard”, the disciplinary hearing was conducted in their absence.

“… And recommendations were thereafter communicated to the appointing authority, who is the king of Ondonga, the chairperson of the traditional council and head of the traditional community in terms of Ondonga customs and the Traditional Authority Act, No. 25 of 2000 to make a final decision,” read a statement by Amalwa.

The suspension of the councillors comes in response to the alleged conspiracy to have the Ondonga king removed from office amid allegations that he is unfit, and too frail to run the affairs of OTA.

The suspended councillors had launched an urgent application that called for the king to be medically examined by a psychologist to determine whether he was still fit to discharge his traditional responsibilities.

A second urgent application was also launched against the chief’s wife, Katrina Elifas, with the councillors demanding unrestricted access to the traditional leader. Both applications were dismissed by the High Court.

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