Former ambassador under fire for cultural 'taboo'

11 October 2018 | Local News

Onamutayi headman and former diplomat Nicky Nashandi says he is on the warpath against those who have illegally settled in the village.

He caused a stir on Saturday when he destroyed Paulus Ndakalako's homestead at Onamutayi, situated near Onamutenya in Oshikoto's Omuntele constituency.

He claimed this was to teach all land grabbers a lesson.

Nashandi, who represented Swapo in Libya between 1977 and 1989, and was also entrusted by the government with various diplomatic interventions in SADC and elsewhere, accused Ndakalako of being an illegal settler who came to the village in 2011.

According to Ndakalako, who resides in Windhoek, said his caretaker, Jason David, informed him that Nashandi had demolished his house on Saturday.





Ndakalako said when Nashandi was appointed as headman a years ago, his homestead was already established.

“Nashandi came here on Saturday morning when we just woke up. He came with a team of five guys, who started demolishing the homestead and throwing our belongings away,” David said.

“I did not interrupt and I told them to do whatever they want. I went to report the matter to his assistant for help.”

Ndakalako said he was shocked.

He said after he got married, he established the homestead and traditional rituals were performed.

“I did not expect that it would be destroyed in such a way. I decided to put in leave just to go see for myself what had happened. I am very shocked and at the moment I am in consultation with my parents about what should be done,” Ndakalako said.

When contacted for comment, Nashandi confirmed that he demolished the house because it was illegal.

“I wrote them a letter last year in September informing them that the place they are settled at belongs to somebody else and they must vacate it. They could not be bothered and they ignored me.”

Nashandi also claimed that Ndakalako's caretaker was reported recently in connection with an alleged stolen cow, “which just added fuel to the already burning fire”.

“Recently, the rightful owner of the place called me and said he is ready to come and settle on his land. I informed them, but still they could not bother. This is an indication that they are not law-abiding citizens and that irked me to take the action of demolishing their house.”

Nashandi said before he took action, he reported the matter to Kodhi Amoomo, the sub-senior headman for the Onethika district, under the Ondonga Traditional Authority.

Amoomo, however, refuted Nashandi claims, saying he never reported such a matter to him.

“I am disappointed by Nashandi's actions. When this was reported to me on Saturday I thought it was a joke. On Monday I was told to go to see for myself and I asked the police and regional councillor to go assist me. I could not believe what I found here,” Amoomo said.

“As a leader, one could not do this. Traditionally, an established homestead cannot be demolished. What Nashandi has done is taboo. I called him to come and explain to me, but he told me that he was very far, but I am still waiting to hear from him.”

Amoomo said once he meets with Nashandi, he will prepare a report for the traditional authority.

Omuntele police officers, who were on the scene, also wrote a report on the incident.

Ndakalako said after he obtained advice from his elders, he would decide what steps to take against Nashandi.

“This is money lost and vandalism of property. What he has done indicates that he is not afraid of anything and can take whatever comes (his way).”

ILENI NANDJATO

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