John Muyamba Rundu-Elifas Dingara, the chairperson of the committee selected to oust Hambukushu chief Fumu Erwin Mbambo, has dismissed accusations that they are a self-proclaimed committee as alleged by several of their critics on social media, and maintains the people elected the committee. Dingara explained that they held a meeting at a guesthouse at Divundu on 24 December, which was attended by representatives from all villages in Hambukushu Traditional Authority (HTA) to hear grievances against the besieged chief. The meeting elected a ten-person committee and gave it the mandate to dethrone Mbambo because of several transgressions cited against him. On Saturday 6 January, the committee gathered some Hambukushu inhabitants from various villages at Divundu open market to inform them and the rest of the Hambukushu community that Mbambo had dismally failed to execute his duties as fumu in line with the Traditional Authorities Act and Hambukushu customary law. They were then tasked to remove him from the position as fumu of the Hambukushu with effect from 25 December 2017. According to Dingara, the fumu’s removal from office was in line with Section 8 (1) of the Traditional Authorities Act, Act No. 25 of 2000. That section of the Act provides that if there is sufficient reason to warrant the removal of a chief or head of a traditional community from office, such chief or head may be removed from office by the members of his or her traditional community in accordance with the customary law of that community. Dingara said that when Fumu Alfons Mayavero was ousted in 1990 and replaced by Mbambo the community had also invoked the Hambukushu customary law that the committee had also fully agreed with at that time. “Once a chief has been removed from his position by the people he has no right or power to carry out any further functions. Thus, the power of the chief resides in the people, and this happened when chief Disho an uncle of mine was removed from his position as chief in 1947. He was replaced by the great Max Makushe Disho, who was removed because he failed to fulfil the duties assigned to him by the people and when removed from office he accepted the decision of the people.’’ “We are aligning ourselves to that, and he must also just accept it like how Mayavero accepted his removal in 1990, when Fumu Mbambo took over,” Dingara said during the gathering. “Our findings as a committee with regard to reasons to remove Fumu from office are more than sufficient to warrant the removal of Erwin Munika Mbambo as Fumu of the Hambukushu Community. “The committee has therefore compiled a report in this regard containing some of the reasons warranting the removal from office, and we are not going through the HTA because the headmen under it were appointed by the Fumu so they will not work fairly in this regard,” Dingara noted. The committee accuses Mbambo of continuously having violated Chapter 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia and Section 14 of the Traditional Authorities Act, Act No. 25 of 2000. He had done so in the exercise of the powers or the performance of the duties and functions referred to in section 3 by a traditional authority or a member thereof. Namely, (a) any custom, tradition, practice, or usage which is discriminatory or which detracts from or violates the rights of any person as guaranteed by the Namibian Constitution or any other statutory law, or which prejudices the national interest, shall cease to apply; “Erwin Munika Mbambo has violated this section on various occasions during his tenure as Fumu,” Dingara said and further explained the pain the community felt because the Fumu has also blocked many development from coming to the Hambukushu traditional authority. This included an agricultural project, which was earmarked between Mayara village and Mbapuka village during 1993-1994 valued at N$ 80 million. He also apparently rejected the construction of Rukonga Vision School, he rejected the Divundu Police Station and Divundu Post Office to name a few and according to the committee as of date the Fumu had allegedly never set foot at these institutions, reasoning that he did not approve them. New Era tried to make an appointment with Mbambo to hear from him regarding the allegations but was told it wasn’t possible at the moment until after the Fumu and his headmen had a meeting with the committee, after which he would invite the media. “We will invite you once we have met with the committee. We invited them to the palace on the 13th but for now neither the traditional authority nor the Fumu can comment on anything,” Hambukushu senior headman and Mbambo’s right hand man Erwin Disho said. Dingara further said the Hambukushu traditional authority had no bank account or trust fund and all the money collected by the Fumu through his heavy fines and levies were deposited in the Fumu’s account and used for his personal use.
New Era Reporter
2018-01-11 09:15:50 10 months ago