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Supreme Court settles Shambyu chieftainship row

2023-06-21  John Muyamba

Supreme Court settles Shambyu chieftainship row

RUNDU - The impasse between two Shambyu royal families about who should be the next chief ended after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Sofia Mundjembwe Kanyetu against her rival Maria Haindaka on Friday.

Due to the drawn out squabble, the Shambyu community has been without a state recognised leader since the death of Hompa Angelina Matumbo Ribebe, on 14 June 2015.

The Supreme Court ruling emanates from a succession dispute between two members of the royal family of the Shambyu community in the Kavango East region.

“What is next now is for the chief’s council to write to the minister inviting him to set a date to come and designate our traditional leader,’’ said the chairperson of the Shambyu traditional council chief’s council, Sebastian Kantema.

“What we have learnt from this legal battle and the dispute is that following the customary law as well as the Traditional Authorities Act is utmost important as things will work in your favour and we did that and so did Mundjembwe. 

“We learnt that being realistic in our disputes is important in order not to waste time,” said Kantema who also stated that as a chief’s council they will now ensure that the royal family has reconciliation talks to forgive and forget so that they work together.

“Things happen and disputes occur but they need to come together again for the traditional authority to move forward in unison. I’m urging fellow subjects to forget what has transpired and not point fingers at anyone. Let’s move forward and develop Shambyu,’’ he said.

“We have learnt a lot from this case and not only us from the Shambyu Traditional Authority but all traditional authorities have taken something from this case, simply because the judgement or ruling of the Supreme Court will now form part of the case law or judicial precedent simply because it’s going to assist in solving similar future disputes in traditional authorities in our country, even those similar pending cases, it will be some sort of a guide,” said Santos Kabwata from the Shambyu chief’s council.

“We are very proud that this case has been resolved and it sends a very good message to all, and we learnt a lot from it, that is the unique part of the Supreme Court ruling or judgement,’’ Kabwata said.

Maria Haindaka was ordered to pay the appellants’ legal costs.

2023-06-21  John Muyamba

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