ONGWEDIVA: The Ohangwena Communal Land Board has decided in favour of the children in the land dispute between the six children of the late Immanuel Kaishungu and their uncle Martin Kaishungu at Okongo settlement in the Ohangwena Region.
The dispute over a piece of land measuring 6.68 hectares (ha), which belonged to late Immanuel Kaishungu at that settlement, has been ongoing since 1996.
This followed the death of Immanuel Kaishungu in 1990. Oukwanyama Traditional Council also dealt with it on several occasions but failed to find amicable solution to the issue.
That council also decided in favour of the children by then, but Martin Kaishungu refuses to surrender the piece of land in question.
He arguing that it belongs to him all along and he is the one allowed his young brother (late Kaishungu) to occupy that piece of land on the grounds that he was in dire need of a dwelling land at the Okongo settlement.
Martin Kaishungu continued arguing that the land in question is part of his nearby land and it should remain as such, while at the same time the six children also remained adamant that the land belonged to their late father and they have the right to inherit it.
The children are identified as Lukas, Lazarus, Victoria, Elizabeth, Martha and Olivia. A formal hearing session on the dispute by the Oukwanyama Traditional Council was scheduled to take place at the council’s offices at Ohangwena settlement in May this year, but Martin Kaishungu failed to show up.
Only the late Kaishungu’s children were present. The Oukwanyama Traditional Council was left without other option than just appealing to the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) to help in tracking down Martin Kaishungu and bring him to the hearing.
However, Martin Kaishungu’s lawyers at the Dr Weder, Kauta and Hoveka Legal Practitioners on 28 May issued an urgent letter addressed to the chairperson of Oukwanyama Traditional Council, Chief George Nelulu informing the council why their client could not attend the hearing.
“Kindly be advised that the dispute between the parties has been referred to the Ohangwena Communal Land Board, therefore our client will not be able to attend to your hearing scheduled for 23 May 2012,” a letter from Martin Kaishungu’s lawyers read.
The lawyers also stated in the letter that Martin Kaishungu did not receive a letter from the headman of Okongo to proceed with the matter to the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority/Council as required by the procedures of the authority.
NAMPA learnt from the aunt of late Kaishungu’s children, Rachel Pashita, on Tuesday that representatives of both the Ohangwena Communal Land Board and the Oukwanyama Traditional Council were at Okongo settlement on a facts-finding mission on 31 May this year.
“They spoke to Martin and the children during their visit to Okongo by then, and they also proceeded to the site to do some mapping,” Pashita told NAMPA in a telephonic interview.
This time around, Pashita said, the Board sat at Eenhana Town last Friday and resolved that the disputed piece of land should belong to the late Kaishungu’s children.
“After hearing and considering the evidence of both sides, the board is convinced that there are indeed two land parcels, one belonging to Mr. Martin Kaishungu measuring 13.69 ha and the other to his late brother Immanuel Kaishungu measuring 6.68 ha of which the children have the right to inherit,” a letter signed by the Chairperson of the board, Daniel Hangula, stated.
The board went on to advise Martin Kaishungu to continue occupying the land he previously owned at the time late Immanuel Kaishungu was alive, while the children will occupy their late father’s portion.
Pashita confirmed to NAMPA on Tuesday that the children are now satisfied and wholly-heartedly welcomed the decision of the board.
Late Kaishungu’s wife, Diina Pashita, moved out their family house for getting married to somebody else after the death of the husband.