Recognising traditional authorities ‘costly’

President Hage Geingob has called for accountability for the use of funds and resources provided from the community trust fund.

21 August 2019 | Economics

GOBABIS - President Hage Geingob said the constant applications for the recognition of traditional authorities is financially unsustainable for government and causes tribal division.

Speaking at the Annual Council of Traditional Leaders’ meeting on Monday, Geingob said communities cannot suddenly want to establish distinct traditional communities and chieftainships, premised on personal motives, preferences and ambitions, after there had been peace under one traditional leadership for years.

“Where there are legitimate cases for recognition, facts should be established beyond doubt, based on thorough investigation. I am calling on all citizens, especially our elders and traditional leaders, to uphold our traditional norms and customs, and avoid fuelling and planting seeds of division and dissent,” he said.

One such a dispute was reported by Nampa earlier this year when royal princes Konisa Kalenga and Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo of the Ondonga Traditional Authority differed about who would succeed the late leader of the traditional authority, Elifas Kauluma.

It was only after government intervention that Nangolo received recognition as the Ondonga leader.

Since its inception, the Council of Traditional Leaders has served as a source of unity in diversity and had helped to shape the structure and foundation of society, Geingob said.

He added that the country was in dire need of material assistance to overcome the current drought and economic downturn and called on Namibian citizens to share their resources with fellow countrymen and women to complement Government’s efforts.

Trust fund

The government, through the ministry of urban and rural development, has established a community trust fund aimed at mobilising and deploying resources to address poverty and other developmental challenges faced by the communities at a micro level.

Geingob called for accountability for the use of funds and resources provided from this trust and highlighted that traditional authorities and leaders have to promote the creation of conditions for the empowerment within their communities.

The vice chairperson of the council, Goab Immanuel /Gaseb, said there had been more than 10 applications for recognition from communities who are represented under already established traditional authorities.

Currently, there are 52 recognised traditional authorities under the ministry of urban and rural development.

/Gaseb said the endless disputes among traditional communities and applications are destabilising the conducive environment the government created for them. - Nampa

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