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Home / Ovaherero fight takes fishing quota twist…Katjiua faction blames Govt for infighting

Ovaherero fight takes fishing quota twist…Katjiua faction blames Govt for infighting

2022-04-26  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Ovaherero fight takes fishing quota twist…Katjiua faction blames Govt for infighting

Supporters of the Ovaherero paramount chief claimant and academic Mutjinde Katjiua, who yesterday petitioned the line ministry, have blamed government for squabbles within the Ovaherero community. 

The faction also wants urban and rural development minister Erastus Uutoni to release nearly N$200 000 allocated to the traditional authority from fishing quotas. 

“The recent conduct of government has convinced us that you, wittingly or unwittingly, are part of the external forces that seek to destabilise the Ovaherero community, and we feel compelled to warn you that we shall not accept such interference,” said the group’s spokesperson Ruben Rukambe, who is also a senior traditional leader. 

“A leader of the Ovaherero people shall not be imposed on us by any government.”

He said this in a petition delivered to Uutoni at the ministry’s headquarters yesterday. 

The Katjiua supporters marched to the minister’s office to deliver the petition.

In the petition, the group is demanding that Uutoni release the N$176 000 fishing quota funds meant for the traditional authority. 

This year, government allocated N$9 million in fish quota funds to recognised traditional authorities, and each traditional authority received a once-off payment of N$176 000.

“The OTA is a recognised authority, like others in Namibia, and is thus entitled to the fishing quota funds of N$176 000 you are withholding, and N$9 000 meant for fuelling the vehicle allocated to OTA,” Rukambe stated.

Uutoni was yesterday unavailable for comment as his phone went unanswered after several calls. 

He also did not respond to a WhatsApp message sent to him at the time of going to print. 

Katjiua recently lost a case in the High Court, which he had filed as a duly-elected paramount chief of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA), wherein he sought an interdict against OTA chairperson of the chiefs’ council Vipuira Kapuuo from hosting a council meeting two weeks ago at Ovitoto in the Otjozondjupa region.

Judge Herman Oosthuizen ordered him (Katjiua) to pay the cost of the suit in his personal capacity. 

“It is clear that the first applicant (Katjiua) lacks locus standi to have brought this application as a paramount chief of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority, nor did he establish a clear right or other requisites for interdictory relief,” said Oosthuizen in his judgement. 

However, Rukambe said his faction resolved during an alleged chiefs’ council meeting held in Windhoek to appeal Oosthuizen’s judgement.

He also warned Uutoni against his alleged attempts to impose Kapuuo on the Ovaherero people.       

The community dispute emanated after the death of Ovaherero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro. 

Following Rukoro’s death, Katjiua organised a transitional committee with the consent of some chiefs’ council members, who later appointed him (Katjiua) as the next paramount chief.

However, his appointment has been heavily disputed by those supporting Kapuuo, arguing that since Kapuuo was the chairperson of the chiefs’ council at the time of Rukoro’s passing, he should be the one to convene the chiefs’ council meeting.

Yet, the Katjiua faction said the weekend meeting rejected Kapuuo being the chairperson in no uncertain terms. 

President Hage Geingob has over the years urged traditional leaders to follow traditional customs in the designation of a traditional leader. 

Recently, he advised Kapuuo to ensure customary laws are duly observed in the designation of the next OTA leader. 

“I found it disheartening that more often than not, leadership succession in some of our traditional authorities is riddled with squabbles, which leads to the polarisation of communities,” Geingob said. 





2022-04-26  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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