Dust refuses to settle around Omuthiya festival

Obrein Simasiku

The war of words between the Omuthiya town council and Samuel Shinedima over the hosting of an entertainment festival is long from over. The fight is over intellectual rights over the name Othithiya, which Shinedima claims that the town council stole his idea after he pitch it to them.

The local authority is now claiming that Shinedima has defamed council’s reputation, image, interrupting the preparation of the event and for creating a bad impression about the council to its potential investors, clients and stakeholders. Meanwhile, Shinedima says council and its entire management do not understand the implication of their actions. “I have seen their letter and my lawyer is busy attending to it and we shall respond,’’ he told the Windhoek Observer.

The bickering stems from the hosting of the Omuthiya Othithiya Festival and Career Fair, which town the council is planning to host end of this month. However, Shinedima, has claimed that the local authority copied his idea, after he had presented it to council in July 2019. Through his lawyers, Salmon Kanyemba Legal Practitioners, a fortnight ago he demanded answers on why the town council copied an idea he had initially presented to them [council] on 16 July 2019.

He claims that without responding to his proposal, the council is now running with it. Another demand was that the council puts the event on hold, and also desist from marketing or promoting the festival.

“Should the council wish to continue with this project we hold further instructions to approach the High Court on an urgent basis. Upon your failure to meet our client’s demands within 14 days after receipt of this missive, we hold instructions to institute legal proceedings against you in the High Court without prior notice, and you shall be held liable of all costs,” stated the lawyers.

The town council has responded saying, “council on many occasions receive presentations from various members of the public, hence it cannot accept that those presentations by Shinedima are unique and innovative, but we will evaluate every presentation and see if there is a need for cooperation or approval,” stated the council in a statement.

The council’s festival is done in collaboration with LaTangi Investment CC, a company owned by well known musician and businessman Teeleleni “Tate Buti” Mumbangala, who also presented a proposal. Council further denies copying the idea, and insist that Shinedima has no trademark, rights reserved, patented, copyrighted and registered with the Business Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) the idea and the name.

Shinedima, is however steadfast that should council not heed to his demands, he will approach the High Court for recourse on an urgent basis to halt the event from taking place.

By Observer