Crunch talks mooted in Uukwangali leadership void

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Crunch talks mooted in Uukwangali leadership void

RUNDU – Elders in the Uukwangali Traditional Authority are set to meet, with a succession talk high on their agenda. 

Following the death of Hompa Daniel Sitentu Mpasi on 17 December 2014, a succession dispute ensued. 

Now, the elders of the traditional authority are set to meet and chart a way forward. 

“The elders of the Uukwangali traditional community must now finalise the matter of the succession of the chief or Hompa of their community. A meeting will be held at the tribal office at Kahenge village in the Kavango West region at 10h00 on Saturday, 25 November,” said Andreas Kamukwanyama, senior councillor within the authority. 

Kamukwanyama said as elders of the Uukwangali, they are empowered to, in terms of the customary law, make or appoint and designate a chief or Hompa of the Uukwangali traditional community. 

“After the passing of Hompa Sitentu, the elders of the Uukwangali traditional community nominated and appointed a successor in the name of Severinus Siteketa and to that end, that decision requires to be implemented, hence calling of a meeting of the elders,’’ he said.

It will serve as a platform for the Uukwangali elders to perform and execute their duties, functions, and powers in terms of, and under the customary laws of the Uukwangali traditional community. 

“The intended meeting is lawful and any interference with the meeting and other related activities will be met with only the most vigorous legal action including an interdict with costs,” he warned.

But amidst the dispute, some members of the royal family and community designated Eugene Kudumo Siwombe as their leader. 

While Siwombe was designated and coronated on 25 April 2015, another faction of the traditional authority contested such designation, leading to a legal battle which did not end in Siwombe’s favour.

“The second decision of the first respondent, as made on 15 February 2017, to designate the third respondent as the chief of the Uukwangali traditional community and the Uukwangali Traditional Authority is hereby reviewed and set aside, and such designation is declared as invalid and of no force or effect,” reads a High Court order of 6 March 2019.

A subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court also fell flat on 6 December 2020.

Uukwangali chief councillor Julius Hamunyera Hambyuka, when approached by New Era, said, “I’m not aware of that meeting. Are they from the royal family or just people residing in Uukwangali?” he asked.

“Who gave them the mandate? If they are saying they are allowed by our customary law then I don’t have issues with them, let them do what they want to do, I don’t think it concerns me,’’ he said.

Contacted for comment on the latest developments in the Uukwangali chieftainship saga, urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni refused to be drawn into the fracas. “I don’t want to say anything about that, they are the right people; this time around let them give you all the details,” Uutoni stated briefly.