Omuthiya Festival started
…council ignores legal threats

Obrein Simasiku

The Omuthiya Town Council has steamed ahead with the idea of hosting the Omuthiya Othithiya despite legal threats from someone who claimed intellectual rights to the festival.

There was uncertainty whether the event would materialise following a legal tussle between, an aspirant host of a similar event, Samuel Shinedima, who threatened to litigation in the High Court, claiming that council had copied his idea, after he had initially made a presentation back in 2019, to which the local authority went mute on him.

Regardless of the threats, the town mayor Johannes Ndeutepo who has been championing the festival, told Observer today that the threats were frivolous and would not derail their plans. Shinedima through his lawyer had demanded explanation on why council copied his idea of the festival, while giving council 14 days which lapsed yesterday, to engage him and reach consensus, and if not he would seek recourse in the High Court. However as of the 27th nothing much happened leading to the Local Authority moving forward to host the event.

The festival is being hosted in Omuthiya. “Sometimes as humans we are too ambitious, and sometimes find ourselves in wrong queues. So the claims were frivolous and held no ground on why we could not proceed, whether any legal basis for any explanation. It should not be an offence if council does not find some people’s ideas/plans entertaining, that should not hold the institution hostage to work with others,” said Ndeutepo briefly, as he highlighted that all proceedings were in full swing.

“On that note I will not indulge much as this could still be a legal matter.” Shinedima this week said his lawyers will handle the matter accordingly. Some sources said council was gambling and for the fact that they have not settled scores with Shinedima this will likely cost the local authority thousands of taxpayers’ money on legal fees.

There will be music shows, soccer, netball, and volley to be hosted during the event, while entrepreneurs and corporates are exhibiting various products and services.

Tomorrow is the official opening, and high level speakers are lined up such as the Ministers of Education, Arts and Culture Anna Nghipondoka, Minister of Urban and Rural Development Erastus Utoni, ICT Minister Peya Mushelenga as well as Industrialisation and Trade deputy minister Verna Sinimbo.

By Observer