Knives out for under-fire chief /Gaseb

Home National Knives out for under-fire chief /Gaseb
Knives out for under-fire chief  /Gaseb

OKOMBAHE – The !Oë ≠Gân traditional community does not want its chief Immanuel /Gaseb to be supported or elected as chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders. 

Rather, the community wants government to help remove the traditional leader. The irate community claims, under /Gaseb, funds from the Spitzkoppe Camping Site and Covid-19 assistance to the !Oë ≠Gân are not accounted for. “Our chief is unfit for the position and we want all activities carried out in our community, including business activities through our traditional authority to be investigated. A forensic report must be carried out on all trust funds belonging to the community,” the community said in a petition.

 The document was handed over to headman Stanislous /Keib on Saturday at Okombahe in the Erongo region. 

/Gaseb, along with all other traditional chiefs are attending the 23rd annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders that will start today in Eenhana in Ohangwena region. A new chairperson of the council will also be elected to replace the late Omukwaniilwa Immanuel Kauluma Elifas. /Gaseb is the current acting chairperson of the council. 

/Gaseb and Ondonga Traditional Authority leader Omukwaniilwa Fillemon Nangolo, are currently vying for the role of chairperson, while Tjinaani Maharero, the chief of the Maharero Royal House, will be running for the position of deputy chairperson. According to the community, more than N$4.5 million that should have been spent on community projects is unaccounted for while no community or feedback meetings have been held since /Gaseb was appointed as chief. 

Speaking on behalf of the community, Yvonne !Nowases said that the !Oë ≠Gân Traditional Authority only creates disharmony and extreme poverty in their community, despite millions being made through income generating projects. “We demand that all mining rights applications in our area be put on hold or at least until the community has been consulted. We also want the fisheries ministry to clear all fishing rights awarded to our traditional authority and clarify our position in Hompa Investments. We further demand that the //Ganeb mountain be declared a heritage site and immediate establishment of the wildlife conservancy in the area,” !Nowases said. 

‘No authority’

Meanwhile, /Gaseb yesterday told New Era the handful of people who petitioned against him do not have the power to remove him, saying it is indeed not the first time that they tried to do so. 

“Only the royal house can remove me. I am not elected but appointed, and I know these petitions are politically motivated. They have tried to remove me on several occasions, but failed. They even went to the High Court,” /Gaseb said. Asked why there are no consultation meetings with the community, he said there are capable councillors elected and serving his community. According to him, they inform him of any problems in the community. /Gaseb also denied claims that he has done nothing for his community, saying that every year, he hands out food parcels to the community. 

“However, they must prove to me that I have stolen any money. I will deal with them the legal route,” he said. The community also wants to meet with President Hage Geingob as well as the ministers responsible for fisheries, mining and urban and rural development in their quest to remove /Gaseb.