WINDHOEK - Fifty-one recognised chiefs with their 306 senior traditional councillors and 306 junior traditional councillors from all over the country will on Monday convene at a local hotel in Windhoek for a five-day annual conference.
President Hage Geingob will officially open the conference while Urban and Rural Development Minister Peya Mushelenga will officiate at the conference’s closure on Friday.
Addressing the 20th annual meeting of the Council of Traditional leaders in Rundu last year, Geingob said that Namibia relies on traditional authorities as custodians of its culture and traditions.
He advised traditional leaders that when disputes arise on succession issues, they should use traditional ways to resolve these problems instead of resorting to the courts of law.
He said there were accepted customary rules of succession, as going to court may be contrary to the traditional ways of doing things and could distort the traditionally acceptable paths of royal succession.
“These days - whether in political parties or not - we have to go to the courts. That’s not how it’s supposed to be, we have customs. That’s why we trust you, the custodians of our culture, to tell us how to solve traditional matters in traditional ways, not modern courts,” New Era quoted Geingob at the time.
“Now, if you go to court they have their rules, which may be contrary to our traditional way of doing things – that distorts the whole thing,” the head of state said at that time.
Meanwhile, According to information obtained by New Era in 2016, taxpayers are footing the bill for the country’s diverse traditional authorities and traditional leaders, which cost government in excess of N$20 million each year.
Government pays a N$2 100 monthly allowance to each of the 51 recognised chiefs, and a N$1 800 monthly allowance to 306 senior traditional councillors.
It also pays a monthly allowance of N$1 600 to 306 junior traditional councillors, N$1 300 for each traditional authority secretary, N$1 000 monthly allowance for each traditional authority driver and a quarterly petrol allowance of N$3 000 to each recognised traditional authority.
In total, government spends N$20.6 million a year on traditional authorities. Besides allowances paid, between 2009 and 2016 government handed brand-new 4x4 Toyota Hilux double cabs to all 51 recognised traditional authorities throughout the country to help them carry out their traditional responsibilities in administering the affairs of their respective communities.
Additionally, government has embarked on the construction of 20 traditional authorities headquarters across the country to the value of N$9 million.
2018-09-07 10:17:09 17 days ago