RUNDU - The Windhoek High Court has for the second time set aside the decision of the Minister of Urban and Rural Development to designate Eugene Siwombe Kudumo as the Chief of the Ukwangali Traditional Authority and community.
“The second decision of the first respondent (Minister of Urban and Rural Development), as made on 15 February 2017, to designate the third respondent (Eugene Kudumo) 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 the court order deleivered last week.
“The first respondent (Minister of Urban and Rural Development), second respondent (Uukwangali Traditional Authority) and the third respondent (Kudumo) are to pay the costs of this application, jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved,” the court further ordered.
Since the death of Hompa (Chief) Sitentu Mpasi in 2014, a faction led by Severinus Siteketa and Rudolf Ngondo, have been contesting Kudumo’s chieftaincy since he was set to take over the reigns as the Uukwangali traditional leader after the late Hompa died.
Kudumo’s coronation as chief of the Vakwangali took place in 2015 following the demise of his grandfather Mpasi in 2014. However, a former member of the chiefs council, Severinus Siteketa has been challenging his chieftainship since his coronation in 2015 and it was taken to court. Siteketa has been arguing that Kudumo was coronated unprocedurally.
Siteketa and 22 other applicants in the matter maintained throughout that Vakwangali elders were supposed to evaluate four candidates from different royal families to choose the late Mpasi’s successor. In his quest to stop Kudumo from coronation, Siteketa wrote a petition to the then Minister of Regional and Local Governance, Major-General Charles Namoloh (Rt.) to seek rescourse but this did not materialise as Kudumo got the chieftaincy.
Ukwangali Traditional Chiefs Council chairperson Christian Simuketa refused to comment when contacted by New Era, saying he did not have enough details on the latest court ruling.