The Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) is poised for another and second Paramount Chief (PC) with the elections scheduled tomorrow in Otjimbingue.
This is after another group last year already elected and inaugurated in the same position, Mutjinde Katjiua, to replace the late late Vekuii Rukoro. The OTA calls its chief Paramount Chief, which is permissible in terms of the Traditional Authorities Act of 2000, for any authority to call its leader by her/his preferred title. But in terms of the Traditional Authorities Act of 2000, the OTA chief is equal to all chiefs of other traditional authorities recognised under the act. Even the Otjiherero-speaking ones.
The election is not only significant to the OTA or Ovaherero at large but also to other authorities and their adherents and followers. Says Uazuva Kaumbi, spokesperson to the chairperson of the Ovaherero Senate and OTA caretaker PC, Vipuira Kambuuo, who is also Chief of Ovitoto communal area in the Omakatako Constituency of Otjozondjupa. “We are hoping that this would help bring stability to our people even though we shall have two current heads now, Professor Katjiua also claiming to be Paramount Chief. But this is step closer for the Minister to decide ultimately who will be the Paramount Chief whether he will throw it back to the community or appoint a committee to arbitrate and see what comes out,” says Kaumbi.
“To have a Paramount Chief through peaceful means, amicable means can stabilise the Ovaherero people than I think it is good for all of Namibia because in Namibia the Ovaherero are still significant. Everybody is interested if you look at the number of interviews I have had…..I am sure the Germans are interested to see who is coming in,” adds Kaumbi.
So far officially Dr Hoze Riruako, and members of Parliament, McHency Venaani and Mike Kavekotora would be vying for the position during the election in Otjimbingwe. This unless the Senate, which has the authority decides to add to them, which albeit Kaumbi is not advisable lest this opens up a can of worms. But as matters look the three are the only ones. How the Senate delegates with the right to vote may have informed choices about the three candidates given that they seem not to have been seen or heard campaign publicly, Kaumbi says since this is an internal matter within the OTA they were free and may have done this within the OTA’s various structures such as the Red Flag rather than campaigning publicly which may led to acrimony. So it was a quiet internal in-house chats within the relevant constituencies.
According to Kaumbi there’s an independent electoral committee setup by Kapuuo to oversee the process including the formulation of the election rules which may entail elimination that eventually only one candidate is eventually presented to the Senate for acclimation. If not the three may battle it out before the Senate during which ala Kaumbi secret balloting shall prevail. There are 28 constituencies of the OTA each of which is required to send 14 delegates to the Senate; 17 head commandos each with five delegates plus the General Field Marshall of the Ongeyama, Patron and Chairperson of the Flag all with votes totaling 481 delegates with a quorum of 241. Kaumbi hints at and hopes for a remote and slim possibility of the closing of the ranks within the divided community hoping against hope as there is always hope with anything.