Hambukushu chief gets support

11 December 2018 | Cultural

Supporters of Hambukushu chief Erwin Munika Mbambo believe that certain top government officials are behind a committee trying to overthrow the chief.

This allegation was made on Saturday at Mukwe in the Kavango East Region, where hundreds of people came together to show their support for Chief Mbambo.

Talking to Namibian Sun on the sidelines, some supporters claimed that the committee trying to overthrow the chief was not doing it in the interest of the tribe but to serve the interest of certain individuals in government who want easy access to land in the Hambukushu area.

“It is no secret that in other parts of the country, access to land is a challenge and now they are targeting our land through this committee.





“Unfortunately our chief is a straight talker and values the land he administers and that is a characteristic that others don't like. That is why they will only have their way if they remove him,” one supporter said.

The committee chaired by Casius Mukenah last month held a referendum to determine whether Mbambo should remain the chief of the Hambukushu people.

Mukenah said out of 2 931 votes only 222 voted in favour of Mbambo and, therefore, he should step down immediately.

However at Saturday's meeting Mbambo's supporters said the referendum was illegal.

They argue that the committee's claims that the chief is blocking development are baseless.

They say it is the government's obligation to steer development and not that of the chief, as he does not receive a budget for developmental projects.

“How is the chief blocking development? The chief is just against the sale of land like it is happening in other traditional authorities who receive N$20 000 one-off payments from those so-called investors who put up lodges and then make millions from our land,” another supporter said.

“In fact people in other traditional authorities along the Okavango River who sold their land to investors today do not have access to the river anymore, which is something our chief does not support and now he is declared an enemy of the people.”

Alfons Dikuua, a member of the Hambukushu Traditional Authority, explained how a chief can be replaced.

That can only happen if a chief dies, or cannot fulfil his duties and appoints a capable person to rule on his behalf, Dikuua said.

Another way in which a chief can be removed is if he is convicted of a serious crime. In such case, the royal family would get together and nominate a successor.

“If the reigning chief passes on, he leaves a message which is vested with the elders within the royal family. The elders will then discuss the matter with the senior councillors, who announce the name of the incoming chief,” Dikuua explained.

When asked why the traditional authority did not accept the committee's referendum, given that Mbambo had succeeded Alfons Majavero in the same way, Dikuua said the correct procedures were not followed.

At Saturday's gathering Mbambo did not talk to his people. He merely observed how they danced and praised him for being a good chief.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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