A faction of the Vakwangali tribe in the Kavango West Region is set to announce a new candidate to be coronated to the dispute Hompa of the Traditional Authority next week.

The faction successfully opposed the coronation of Hompa Eugene Siwombe in the High Court about eight years ago.

The embattled Hompa of the Vakwangali Siwombe was crowned in 2015 after his designation by the Minister of Urban and Rural Development.

Senior Headman Andreas Kamukwanyama's faction approached the Windhoek High Court, which ruled that Siwombe's designation was unprocedural.

The court in 2016 directed that the parties go back and follow what the Vakwangali succession traditions and customs dictate.

"From magistrate to high court, the matter ended up at the Supreme Court, which is the last level in Namibia. The high court ruled that they did not follow culture when they appointed the person that they are now referring to as Hompa, unless it goes back to the traditional level. They did not agree, which led to the matter ending up at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court then confirmed that the high court was right. They got 21 days to respond to the ruling, and the 21 days lapsed, and the case was closed. From now on, there won't be any other hearing on this matter."

Kamukwanyama says this did not happen because Siwombe appealed to the Supreme Court, which also agreed with the High Court ruling.

Siwombe's claim to the chieftaincy was based on his alleged nomination by his uncle, the late Hompa Daniel Sitentu Mpasi, as his successor.

Kamukwanyama says a sitting Hompa does not handpick his or her successor according to Vakwangali customs.

Kamukwanyama called on all decisions around the Vakwangali traditional authorities to be suspended until after a rightful Hompa is coronated.

"All activities taking place in Ukwangali, which is not governed by the law, from head woman and man that are solving community disputes and asking people to pay, should stop now until our Hompa is coroneted, then only we resume with work. This is an order: whoever will not follow the law, let it be their own problem."
The selection of the candidate on Saturday by the Kamukwanyama group took place outside the palace, as the faction was denied access to the tribal office at Kahenge village.

A lawyer was also invited to explain the implications of the judgement of the Supreme Court to the Vakwangali people.

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nbc Digital News


Elizabeth Mwengo