OKAHANDJA – Founding President Sam Nujoma has commended the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority (OTA) on the “peaceful” manner in which they have handled their internal problems, saying it was indeed “remarkable and exemplary”.
Since the death of Chief Munjuku II Nguvauva ten years ago the community has been divided over who should replace him as chief.
Munjuku II led the community for more than five decades until his death on January 16, 2008 after a long illness.
However, Windhoek High Court Judge Collins Parker in 2014 ordered the then minister of regional and local government to approve Chief Kilus Munjuku III Nguvauva’s designation as the Ovambanderu traditional chief.
Speaking in front of hundreds of community members and sympathisers who gathered in Okahandja to commemorate the 122nd Battle of Otjunda, Nujoma urged the community to continue extending the hand of reconciliation towards each other.
Nujoma, who was a personal friend of the late Munjuku II Nguvauva, also encouraged the community under the leadership of Kilus Munjuku III Nguvauva to join the government in its development efforts in order to uplift the people.
This year’s commemoration took place under the theme ‘Custom/Tradition based on past experience for a better and prosperous future.’
Nujoma appealed to the Ovambanderu – who have gone through protracted disputes – to set their differences aside and concentrate on building their rich culture and tradition for their own benefit and the country in general.
“I should remind you that the late Chief Munjuku II Nguvauva fought tirelessly for years towards the unification of the Ovambanderu people,” said Nujoma.
He furthermore appealed to OTA’s acting Chief Gerson Katjirua and “substantive” Chief Kilus Munjuku III Nguvauva to work tirelessly towards uniting the Ovambanderu community and invest in education of the Ovambanderu and other Namibians.
“I appeal to this community to stay united. As I always say, a people united, striving to achieve a common good for all members of the society, will always emerge victorious,” he said.
Other dignitaries who attended the event included Namibia’s special envoy on genocide Dr Zed Ngavirue, Okahandja former mayor Valerie Aron, current mayor Congo Hindjou and government representatives from various ministries.
Traditional leaders who attended the commemoration included Chief George Simasiku Mamili VII of the Mafwe Traditional Authority, Chief Tjinaani Maharero of the Maharero Royal House and Chief Manasse Zeraeua of the Zeraeua Royal House.
Chief Kahimemua Nguvauva was the Ovambanderu chief in what was then German South West Africa. He was born at Omusarakumba, a farm now owned by prominent farmer Justice Tjirimuje, 18 kilometres north of Okahandja, and became leader of the Ovambanderu in eastern Namibia.
He led the Ovambanderu community in resistance against the German colonial occupation, in battles at Gobabis and Otjunda in the Omaheke Region in the 1890s. Nguvauva was declared a rebel for defending their rights and property.
A bounty was placed on his head and the position of chief revoked.
It was at Otjunda in 1896 that the decisive battle took place.
Kahimemua was captured and tortured at Kalkfontein and taken by the German forces as a prisoner to Okahandja, where he and Nicodemus Kavikunua were executed by a German firing squad on June 12.
The grave of Kahimemua Nguvauva is situated on an erf along Kahimemua Avenue in Okahandja. It was officially proclaimed a national monument on February 7, 1980.