Staff Writer

In what could be seen as the beginning of the last push by the Chairperson of the Ovaherero Chiefs’ Council, Chief Vipuira Kapuuo, to buttress and legitimise his authority as the caretaker leader of the Ovaherero, Kapuuo has resigned from the Transitional Committee.

The Transitional Committee was established under dubious circumstances shortly after the death of the Ovaherero Paramount Chief, Advocate Vekuii Rukoro, this June. Despite Kapuuo being a member of this committee, the lines have from the beginning been drawn between Kapuuo and the Transitional Committee, chaired by the Secretary in the Office of the Paramount Chief, Mutjinde Katjiua. The establishment of the committee and its legitimacy has from the start been shrouded in controversy with some of the traditional leaders on the Chiefs’ Council denying that they ever signed and sealed its establishment, and thus surprised that they have been mentioned as agreeing to its establishment and given it their blessing with their signatures, which came as a surprise to some of them.

Besides withdrawing from the Committee, Chief Kapuuo has also requested for the postponement of the meeting of the Chiefs’ Council, which has been scheduled for 26-29 of November in Otjiwarongo. This meeting is understandably a sequel to the one which was supposed to be held at the village of Otjozonguehe in the Kunene region end October beginning November but was aborted despite the would-be delegates travelling all the way to Kunene. The abortion was because of the very ongoing tussle between Kapuuo and some fellow chiefs on the one hand, and the Transitional Committee backed by some chiefs on the other.

Among the issues giving rise to the abortion of this meeting were the bona fides of some of the would-be attendants of the meeting, including that of traditional leaders from the Otjinene Constituency, deemed by some fellow attendants, to be no longer part of the Ovaherero Chiefs’ Council given the internal differences and wranglings because of outstanding issues that the leadership of the Ovaherero have not solved. These differences particularly pertain to the appointment and/or installation of traditional leaders in certain parts of the Otjinene Constituency by the late Paramount Chief of the Ovaherero, Vekuii Rukoro. This did not go well with some of the traditional leaders from this constituency on the Ovaherero Chiefs’ Council, considering such installation, which they said they were not consulted about, an encroachment on their traditional area of jurisdiction.

The said meeting in Otjiwarongo has been scheduled to discuss, among others, the very issue which has pitted the traditional leaders within the Ovaherero Chiefs’ Council against one another, which is the continued existence of the Transitional Committee as well as laying the framework for the processes of choosing a successor Paramount Chief. But with Kapuuo now having resigned from the Transitional Committee and the battles lines now clearly drawn, it is not clear whether the meeting in Otjiwarongo will this weekend go ahead, especially with Kapuuo not only having requested its postponement but also not convening it as well as by his own admission having no knowledge about it.

Kapuuo’s second in command, Chief Berthold Tjiundje, was on Tuesday morning heard on the NBC’s Omurari daily current affairs programme, Keetute, as being aware of the meeting this weekend. But whether it will still go ahead in view of Kapuuo’s request, he says this is a matter that the leaders can only answer at an emergency meeting that they need to convene.