Chief axed again

The Hambukushu people have voted in favour of asking their chief, Erwin Munika Mbambo, to step down.

13 November 2018 | Cultural

A committee established by the Hambukushu tribe has renewed its demand that Chief Erwin Munika Mbambo relinquish power.

In a letter dated 8 November 2018, the chairperson of the pressure group, Cassius Mukenah, lists the reasons why they want Mbambo to step down immediately.

This is the second attempt in a year by the pressure group to relieve Mbambo of his powers.

They wrote the first letter just before Christmas last year, listing a number of allegations and accusing the chief of blocking much-needed development in the tribal area.

Surprisingly the group made a U-turn on 17 January and apologised unconditionally to the chief.

In the latest letter Mukenah writes that a referendum was conducted last week and the Hambukushu tribe overwhelmingly voted in favour of Mbambo's removal.

“Following a referendum which took place on 7 November 2018 in Mbukushu district, the result thereof indicates that a total number of people who voted was 2 931 of which four votes were spoilt ballots, 222 voted in your favour and 2 705 votes were against you. This is a clear indication democratically that the Hambukushu people do not want you to continue as Fumu,” the letter reads.

The letter quotes Section 8, subsection 1, of the Traditional Authorities Act which stipulates that if a traditional community has sufficient reasons that warrant the removal of a chief, they can go ahead as long as they follow the customary law of that community.







“In terms of the customary law of the Hambukushu community, it was decided to conduct a referendum on 7 November 2018 to determine the popular position of the Hambukushu community as to whether or not you should be removed from the position, as it was done in 1947 and repeated twice in 1971 and 1990 respectively,” the letter reads.

Mukenah has confirmed the authenticity of the letter, which was copied to the minister of urban and rural development and the Kavango East governor.

Mukenah said Mbambo had overthrown his predecessor, the late Chief Alfons Majavero, in the same fashion in 1990.

According to Mukenah, the last three chiefs of the Hambukushu tribe had been removed because they had not fulfilled their duties.

Asked whether the close to 3 000 people who participated in last Thursday's referendum were a true reflection of the population of the Hambukushu tribe, and whether all the community members had been informed of the vote, Mukenah initially responded by asking whether all eligible Namibians took part in presidential elections.

He then explained that Mbambo's supporters had urged the community not to take part in the vote.

“The camp of Mbambo went to tell the people that they should not participate in the referendum but we had to go into the communities again and sensitise the people on the importance of the referendum,” Mukenah said.

When asked about their U-turn at the beginning of the year, Mukenah said they had to reverse the December decision because they had made a technical mistake.

Mukenah called on the chief to do the right thing and vacate the position.

“It is our strong belief that you will respect and adhere to the will and aspirations of the Hambukushu people as shown in the referendum of 7 November 2018 and act in the same manner as was done by your late uncle Fumu Disho, referred to in your affidavit of 1990,” Mukenah said.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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