Ondonga community fails to take over OTA

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Nuusita Ashipala

Oshakati-Attempts to forcefully lock the office of the Ondonga Traditional Authority and remove the keys from the current leadership led to the arrest of one of the group members on Monday morning.

Kennedy Iilonga, who has a restraining order forbidding him to come near or to access the premises was arrested after he refused to leave the office premise when requested to do so. He now faces a charge of trespassing.
Ondonga Traditional Authority secretary Nepando Amupanda confirmed the authority has opened a case of trespassing against Iilonga, who allegedly violated the rules of the authority, as he was banned from its premises.

Amupanda said Iilonga and his fellows further violated the regulations of the traditional authority by calling illegal meetings on behalf of the Ondonga community without the blessing of the chief. Iilonga is alleged to have arrived at the office before it opened its doors at eight. His arrest was preceded by the arrival of another group, which demanded access to the office, but it remained locked and was guarded by heavily armed police officers, as well as members of the special field force.

Group spokesperson Pendapala Nakathingo’s request to access the premises was turned down by the police, who told the group to make an appointment. The police further told the crowd that it did not have time to listen to them and gave them 20 minutes to disperse, threatening to shoot. The office remained guarded by the police until after noon.
Speaking to New Era from the police station shortly after he was apprehended, Iilonga said he went to the office early yesterday morning to seek audience with the leadership regarding a piece of land he had purchased from Ondonga leader Immanuel Kauluma Elifas.

“I bought land from one of the king’s children, but have been playing hide and seek. So, I just went to the office requesting to see the person I bought the land from. Apparently I have no right to be at the office,” said Iilonga.
According to a letter dated November 23, 2017, the resolution to take over the office was adopted at a meeting earlier in the month held at the house of John Walenga, the axed senior traditional councillor for Ondangwa district.

The letter was directed to the office of the head of the Ondangwa police station requesting a police escort to the Indonga Traditional Authority premises. The invitation to the wider Ondonga community to join the coup was also widely circulated on social media, but only a handful of people turnef up.

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