Ondonga kingdom's deafening silence

17 February 2017 | Opinion

Serious allegations have been levelled against some powerful people within the Ondonga Traditional Authority who are accused of grabbing land and allocating it to their rich friends and associates.

The situation at Onethindi, Onamungudo and Ondonga villages is tense to the extent that a meeting recently held to discuss the issue ended on a raucous note with threatening remarks made against community members by one of the accused.

Those implicated in the alleged land grabbing activity include the king's wife Cecilia, her son Toteya Elifas, daughter Katrina Elifas, Ondonga headman Oscar Sheehama as well as a certain Thomas Amuthenu. Although the accused have defended themselves in the matter by claiming that that those who are coming up with such allegations were simply envious of the royal family, the traditional authority is yet to pronounce itself on this matter.

Allegations of this nature against those with close links to the Ondonga king are nothing new and it is completely baffling that the traditional authority is showing little interest in solving the issue.

Why is it so difficult for the traditional authority to carry out an independent investigation to determine whether these allegations of land grabbing were well-founded? We are sitting with a situation here whereby irate community members are demanding justice for allegedly having been robbed in huge illegitimate land grabs.

Where is the urgency on the side of the traditional authority in dealing with this matter?

If it is true that some people are illegally grabbing land for the purpose of self-enrichment and maintaining power at all costs, why are they not held accountable?

Furthermore, we take cognisance of the deep-seated and irreconcilable differences among some traditional leaders despite the usual calls for unity.

But that should not be used to confuse and detract attention from this important issue, which affects powerless members of the community.

These members have nothing to do with the succession battles of the Ondonga kingdom. They simply want answers and for justice to prevail.

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