Siblings at war over homestead

Breach of cultural values

11 June 2019 | Local News

The children of late Omusati governor Leonard Nangolo Mukwiilongo are at war over their father's homestead and mahangu field at Onashiku near Elim.

The Oshakati Magistrate's Court has issued a protection order against Mukwiilongo's lastborn, Shatipamba, who was dragged to court by one of his siblings, 61-year-old Helena Tuyakula.

On 16 March, Magistrate Mika Namhueja issued an interim protection order against Shatipamba, who according to Helena's statement, interfered with her business of selling homemade poles from her father's homestead. Helena is also opposing a decision by the Uukwambi Traditional Authority to divide her father's mahangu field among her siblings.

“I am selling my late father's house's poles because I want to renovate the house. When my father died he left a will in which he stated that I will take his house and store once he passed on. On 5 March he (Shatipamba) came home and found people who came to buy poles loading them into their cars. He ordered them to remove the poles and leave the house,” Helena said in her statement.

“He recorded a video and sent it to me saying that I have to [email protected]$#@ because I am selling poles from my father's homestead; apparently I must go sell my husband's things. Since the house was given to me by my father and based on the reasons I gave, I want my brother Shatipamba to be far from me. I don't want him to be close to me and disturb me.”

In May 2017 Mukwiilongo, who was 92 at time, succumbed to his injuries after he was brutally attacked at his residence in April the same year. He was survived by six children - Nuukongo, Helena, Kandiya, Lita, Kristi and Shatipamba.

In her statement, Helena also expressed her disappointment in Onashiku village headman Ruben Shiningayamwe for dividing his father's mahangu field among her siblings.

“On August 2017 my siblings wrote a letter to the headman saying that I must not be given the house. Shiningayamwe, however, decided to distribute my late father's mahangu field to Shatipamba, Nuukongo, Kandiya and Lita,” Helena's statement said.

On 24 May, the court postponed the matter to decide whether to make the interim order final. It was due to rule yesterday.

Shiningayamwe confirmed the dispute was brought to their attention.

“We are very shocked by someone selling poles from a traditional homestead. It is a taboo among the Uukwambi community, where we have a place called iiti kiidhiluka, which is a traditional homestead that has been there for many more years, but nobody takes a pole from there.

“All we could do was to divide the mahangu field among them and for that we have all the power in our hands,” Shiningayamwe said.

Helena could not be reached for comment.

Shatipamba confirmed he has not been home since March, when the interim protection order was issued.

“I have a bedroom at my late father's homestead and all my belongings and one of my cars are at home, but I cannot access them due to the order.

“I am just waiting to hear what the magistrate will say. If the court makes the order final, it means I will even lose out on my land that I am given by the traditional authority,” said Shatipamba.

“This is a taboo and also an embarrassment to us, the Mukwiilongo. We have never heard of such things done before. Before I stopped these people, I first asked the traditional authority and they told me it's against our culture to sell poles from a traditional homestead,” he added.

ILENI NANDJATO