Nuusita Ashipala Ondangwa-The divisions between the current leadership and the axed traditional councillors of Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA) widened further over the weekend, with the axed councillors claiming to be opening an office to serve the Ondonga populous as of today. The new office at Punyu Hotel at Oniipa will also house the community court, the splinter group told its supporters on Saturday. In addition, the files and documents, as well as furniture and staff at the current office, on the ticket of the Ministry of Justice, will be transferred to the new office. The revelations were made at a meeting of about 1,000 people convened by the axed councillors on Saturday at Oluno. The majority of the people in attendance were village headmen. All 10 districts within the OTA were represented. The meeting comes after peace talks within the royal family, to reunite the current leadership and the axed councillors, turned sour. New Era was reliably informed that the royal family, led by King Kauluma Elifas, was looking to reinstate the axed councillors, and talks were ongoing but were halted almost two weeks ago. Former senior traditional councillor for Amuteya district Vilho Kamanya asked people within Ondonga to start registering their cases at the new office at Oniipa. Kamanya said the axed traditional councillors had twice received court-related training, this year and last year. Kamanya said the Ministry of Justice would contribute towards the rental of the new premises. But the Deputy Director of Community Courts in the Ministry of Justice Amelia Nathanael told New Era that the ministry has nothing to do with the ongoing OTA squabbles, but will ensure that cases in the community continue to be heard, despite the fights. “From our end, they (councillors) are not suspended as justices and assessors of the community court,” said Nathanael. She said the operation of a community court on the premises of a traditional office is subject to the availability of space. “When there is no space the ministry usually pays for rented premises, which is what will happen with Ondonga Traditional Authority,” said Nathanael. Housing and business registration fees from the villages should as of Monday also be forwarded to the new office, Kamanya told hordes of attendees. The meeting resolved to set up an account with a new board of trustees to oversee the funds. Kamanya insists that they (traditional councillors) are not on suspension. “We are the gazetted traditional councillors, hence the ministry continues to engage us and provide us with training and not the other group,” said Kamanya. OTA secretary Nepando Amupanda refused to comment on the outcome of the meeting when contacted yesterday. Last week Amupanda sent out a communication, supposedly from the king, objecting to the holding of such a meeting as it did not receive the king’s blessing. “Ondonga people should refrain from responding to invitations that did not come from the king’s office,” the letter reads. Apart from the headmen, the meeting was also attended by some members of the royal family. Also in attendance were the former Swapo Party secretary for information and mobilisation Helmuth Angula, former ambassadors Eddy Amukongo and Nicky Nashandi and retired politician Kanana Hishoono.
2018-03-19 09:34:12 6 months ago