WINDHOEK - Kambazembi Royal Traditional Authority, Chief Sam Kambazembi has raised serious concerns in what he terms as blatant interference by government in traditional matters.
The tribal chief raised these concerns to New Era on Monday on the sideline of the ongoing 21st Annual Meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders, underway in Windhoek.
Kambazembi said he is particularly disturbed by the Urban and Rural Development Minister Peya Mushelenga’s decision to allow “out of favour” senior councillor Ueriuka Tjikuua to represent the traditional authority at the annual meeting despite having been duly informed in writing that Tjikuua has been stripped off any authority to represent the royal house at any level.
New Era understands that Kambazembi and Tjikuua have not seen each other eye to eye for the last two years.
Kambazembi told New Era that Tjikuua has not been attending the traditional authority’s meetings and this was the reason he was shown the exit door.
He added that he wrote a letter to Mushelenga on August 14, notifying him about the immediate withdrawal of Tjikuua as designate representative to the annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders.
The letter, seen by New Era, details Kambazembi’s notice to Mushelenga for the immediate withdrawal of Tjikuua, to be replaced by Councillor Ratunua Katupose.
However, Mushelenga responded in a letter on Friday last week saying his [Kambazembi] request to withdraw Tjikuua from attending the council meeting at this juncture cannot be entertained due to the time constraints.
“In regard to your request to again replace the gazetted member of the Council of Traditional Leaders of your traditional authority with a non-gazetted member to the upcoming 21st council in Windhoek, you are hereby reminded to conform with paragraph 3 of my predecessor’s letter dated 26 October 2017,” the minister wrote.
He was referring to a 2017 letter by former minister Sophia Shaningwa, who wrote: “On the same note, I would like to know whether the intended removal was duly communicated to the member concerned and also whether the affected person was informed with reasons of his removal and subsequently given an opportunity to be heard.”
Advising Shaningwa on the same issue last year, then Attorney General Sacky Shanghala said according to Section 6 (1) (c) of the Council of Traditional Leaders Act of 1997, withdrawing a councillor does not require that the person whose membership is terminated is to be heard.
“In fact, under Section 6 (1) (c) of the Council of Traditional Leaders Act of 1997, membership [ceases] by operation of law once the notice of withdrawal is given to the minister,” reads Shanghala’s letter to Shaningwa at the time.
The letter went on to say: “The requirement for a notice and to afford a representative an opportunity to be heard are mentioned only in Section 6 (2) under which provision the minister may terminate a person’s membership after consultation with the traditional authority.”
“The decision to withdraw the representatives from the council must be made in accordance with applicable customary law, subject to the Namibian Constitution and any applicable legislation, however, it has not been brought to my attention that the affected persons allege that these laws were not observed,” reads the AG letter.
2018-09-13 09:14:09 11 months ago