KATIMA MULILO: President Hifikepunye Pohamba says he is pleased to learn that the establishment of townships is one of the topics to be discussed at the 15th annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders.
The meeting, which is being held at Katima Mulilo in the Caprivi Region, started on Monday and ends Friday.
In a statement read on his behalf by Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku at the official opening of the meeting on Monday, President Pohamba said many, if not all, new townships which will be established will be located in areas under the jurisdiction of Traditional Authorities.
“I urge the meeting to discuss this important matter in depth, especially with regard to the role and legal mandate of Regional Councils in developing the villages into serviced settlement areas for the purpose of combating poverty and unemployment,” he said, adding that traditional leaders have a key role to play as development partners with Government institutions, while serving as agents of change to build a better life for the people.
Harmonious relations should also be maintained between the Traditional Authorities and the Government, especially the Regional Councils and Local Authorities for the sake of the development of the country.
“In order to promote participatory democracy at grassroots’ level, I encourage traditional authorities to actively participate in the planning and development of our villages and towns,” noted Pohamba.
He further stated that traditional authorities should also participate in the development of settlement areas, and in all public service delivery initiatives.
“By working as a team, we will succeed in building prosperous communities and sustainable human settlements in our country,” he added.
The Head of State then spoke about the Regional Governors, saying they are charged with the task of acting as representatives of Central Government in the regions and as a link between the Central Government, regional and local authority councils and traditional authorities.
“They are further tasked with investigating and reporting to the President or the relevant minister on matters relating to the regions where they are posted,” he said.
The President indicated that he is pleased with the good cooperation between Regional Governors and the traditional authorities.
He further encouraged the traditional leaders to use their annual council meeting as a platform to deliberate on other developmental issues facing Namibian communities, and to maintain close links with the communities they serve.
A moment of silence was then observed in honour of six members of the Council of Traditional Leaders who passed away since the council’s 14th annual meeting, which was held at Ongwediva last September.
These are Chief Christian Eerike Zeraeua of the Zeraeua Traditional Authority; Chief Alfons Maharero of the Maharero Traditional Authority; Acting Captain Moses Jacobs of the Blouwes Traditional Authority; Chief John Arnold of the !Khung Traditional Authority; King Jafet Malenga Munkundi of the Ongandjera Traditional Authority and Chief Kgosi-kgolo Constance Letang Kgosiemang of the Batswana ba Namibia Traditional Authority.
The delegates are slated to visit the Mafwe, Masubia, Mayeyi and Mashi Traditional Authorities in the Caprivi Region towards the end of the week.