Kavango West Region Governor Sirka Hausiku confirmed that the Uukwangali Traditional Authority is dragging its feet in releasing findings on investigations about corruption to the public.
This comes after some of the Uukwangali community members raised the red flag in the manner in which the authority is dealing with selling of communal land.
An insider within the authority also confirmed that some members of the Ukwangali traditional authority are not keen to see the findings of the investigations being revealed to everyone.
In the second half of last year due to persistent allegations of corruption, the Uukwangali Traditional Authority arranged a meeting to engage with community members in Kahenge Constituency.
The meeting was chaired by now resigned chairperson of the Ukwangali Traditional Authority’s, Chiefs’ Council Joseph Kandjimi, and among those in attendance was Governor Hausiku.
“I was invited to attend in my capacity as Governor of Kavango West and I recall that members of the community levelled a number of allegations against the authority, but most notable was the illegal sale of land. Many people were happy with the allocation of land,” said Governor Ausiku.
The Governor said Kandjimi appointed an independent committee of about 10 persons to launch a probe into the allegations, and admitted to The Villager that the investigation should have been done and dusted by now and recommendations made.
“I do not know why my office has not been briefed on the findings and the recommendations, which I believe should have been concluded by now. Maybe they are still not done, and when they are done they will write me a letter,” said the Governor.
Kandjimi then resigned from his position as Chairperson of the Ukwangali Traditional Authority’s Chiefs’ Council amidst alleged links to the dubious land sales raising a stink in the process.
Despite the current Acting Chief of Ukwangali Eugene Siwombe refuting allegations that Kandjimi’s decision to step down was prompted by the investigations, speculation continues that the investigation was indeed the reason he resigned.
A well respected community member who asked to speak under the condition of anonymity, said members of the Ukwangali community are not ignorant enough to believe reasons such as other work commitments and health condition cited by Kandjimi for his resignation.
“He was a legally appointed chairperson of the traditional authority’s Chief’s Council, but he resigned amidst strange circumstances, this is during the time when there were allegations of corruption against him,” said the community member.
Although not confirmed some of the insiders are accusing senior authority members of renting a guest house in Nkurenkuru at the expense of the traditional authority.
“This is abuse and squandering of public money, it must stop forthwith. His so called appointment is illegal, has no standing and he must stay away from the matters and affairs of the traditional authority. There are claims that he together with the leadership of the traditional authority are very corrupt and are selling communal land illegally.
“People want the governor of Kavango west region to release the findings of the investigations into the alleged corrupt activities of the traditional authority,” an inside source said, adding that corruption must be rejected.
The controversy prone traditional authority is also being accused of illegally appointing Kandjimi’s successor, a former Namibian Police Force (NamPol) officer-turned-businessman Christian Ndeya Simuketa, who they are also accusing of having served as a member of the previous regime’s notorious counter-insurgency unit Koevoet.
There are also fears of a leadership vacuum in the VaKwangali community.
According to a well-placed source, who serves in a senior capacity at the traditional authority, the acting Hompa Eugene Yoyo Siwombe Kudumo has no mandate to be in that position.
This is deemed illegal because no proper procedures were followed to appoint him in the Acting capacity.
“The right democratic and correct procedures that remain and have been the only best practices as per the Kwangali customs and tradition and culture are like this: upon the death of the Hompa, three or five senior headmen/women of the Kwangali people will take over the leadership role in an acting position whilst the due processes to elect the new Hompa are underway, normally the process takes three to six months.
The five Royal Houses of the Hompas will consult and each Royal house will then nominate a candidate to take over the Chieftainship through a democratic process.
“Another consultation between the Royal Houses and the three or five senior headmen and women who are the representatives of the Kwangali communities will follow after the Royal Houses have nominated the best candidates from within their blood lines. Then there is an election of the Hompa from those nominated by the Royal Houses,” the source said.