Dismissed Ondonga traditional councillors back in court

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Nuusita Ashipala

Ongwediva-The Ondonga traditional councillors who were dismissed by the King of Ondonga Traditional Authority, Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, are back in court.

In an application filed with the Oshakati High Court, the dismissed councillors want the Ondonga Traditional Authority not to pursue the suspension and dismissal of the applicants and their replacement pending the finalisation of the application.

The application was filed by Josef Asino, Vilho Kamanya, Peter Kauluma, Kashona Malulu, Fillemon Nambili and John Walenga, all who have been relieved of their positions as traditional councillors for the Ondonga Traditional Authority.

They are taking King Elifas, the newly installed traditional councillors, the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and Ondonga Traditional Authority to court in an effort to interdict the appointments of new traditional councillors from being gazetted by government.

Their application, which was filed with the Oshakati High Court on 11 August, comes almost three weeks after the new traditional councillors were sworn-in and assumed duties.

The group is also asking King Elifas to set aside their suspension and to conduct a disciplinary hearing in their absence.

It also wants King Elifas to review and set aside the decision to replace the axed OTA councillors, hence reinstate the axed councillors immediately.

In response, the Ondonga Royal Palace Press Aide Senior Traditional Councillor of Oniimwandi District, Naeman Amalwa, in a press statement, said the notice of motion shall be defended accordingly.

“Looking at the fibres on the notice application, Omukwaniilwa is herewith assuring you his subjects that, first with Almighty God on our side, the stern support of his legal team and his royal councillors, we shall once again fend of[f] these adversaries’ deliberate confrontation and eventually trounce them before the court of law and hopefully this time around get this calamity done and dusted perpetually,” said Amalwa.

King Elifas, in the press statement, also called on all councillors to refrain from indulging themselves in illicit meetings organised by dismissed councillors and are asked to report any suspicious acts to the palace or the new traditional councillors.

“Let you be further informed that Omukwaniilwa and his traditional community distance itself from the envisaged meeting in that it is not ‘oshigongi shoshilongo’, as was claimed by the advert and that it was not called by Omukwaniilwa or OTA but by disgruntled dismissed councillors who are already replaced by the new senior traditional councillors,” read the statement.

The axed traditional councillors have called for a meeting on Saturday to discuss the status of the court case.
King Elifas further clarified that the applicants of the court application are not suspended but are dismissed from their respective positions at OTA.

The recently filed application is the second one following an application launched earlier seeking unrestricted access to the King.

It further sought to stop the King’s wife, Secilia Elifas, from allegedly interfering in OTA affairs, a case she won in May after Judge Shafimana Ueitele ruled in her favour.

Ueitele ruled that Walenga and his fellow applicants were not tasked by the Ondonga Traditional Authority, which appointed them, to file an application on its behalf as they claimed.

The current application filed against King Elifas, his new traditional councillors, Erastus Mvula, Paavo Amwele, Rainhold Nepolo, Naeman Kambala and Nepando Amupanda, the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and OTA will be moved on 1 September, if no intention to oppose is given.

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