Ongwediva-Designate chief of the Ondonga tribe Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo has hit back at claims that opening a new separate office at Oniipa is tantamount to lawlessness and will thus not be recognised by government, as stated Minister of Urban and Rural Development Peya Mushelenga.
Nangolo said the initial letter addressed to the minister was merely a communiqué to alert the minister of the office relocation as mandated by the community, and not his approval.
“It has therefore come as a shock to the Ondonga community that the Honourable Minister regards the action of the community as lawlessness,” thundered Nangolo. The dismissed traditional councillors, with the support of the Ministry of Justice which is the custodian of the community courts, relocated the operations of the courts to Oniipa.
The Deputy Director of Community Courts in the Ministry of Justice Amalia Nathaniel earlier this year said the ministry had nothing to do with the ongoing Ondonga squabbles.
She said the ministry is only responsible with ensuring that community’s cases continue to be heard despite ongoing fights by its leaders.
“From our end, they [councillors] are not suspended as justices and assessors of the community court,” said Nathaniel.
Nangolo, in a letter dated March 29, refuted claims he was seeking support from the minister for relocating the office.
He dismissed talks by the minister that the court case challenging the dismissal of the senior councillors by Omukwaniilwa Immanuel Elifas was struck from its court roll on March 19.
According to Mushelenga pending the court’s ruling in the application of the dismissed councillors, any action to relocate the office is unacceptable and amounts to lawlessness.
“For the record, my letter was not addressed to the Honourable Minister with the view to seek permission to relocate the office but was intended to communicate the decision of the community as permitted in terms of Sections 3, 4 of the Act,” said Nangolo.
“I hereby extend my request to meet with the Honourable Minister to clarify matters and to address the concerns that may exist,” said Nangolo further.
Nangolo said the office was relocated to enable the continued operation of the office of the traditional authority.
Equally, did not agree with Mushelenga’s assertion that the court case challenging the dismissal of the senior councillors by Omukwaniilwa Immanuel Elifas has been struck from the court roll on March 19.
According to Nangolo, the ongoing court case should not hinder the operations of the traditional authority.