ONESI: The community court of the Uukolonkadhi Traditional Authority (UTA) on Thursday ordered a sergeant in the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), Gabriel Venomusheko, to leave the Uukolonkadhi traditional district.
Venomusheko, who is an ex-combatant of the then Swapo military wing – People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) – is the chairperson of the committee in charge of ex-combatants at the Onandjandja resettlement centre, situated some 17km from Onesi.
He appeared before the Uukolonkadhi Community Court held at the Onesi settlement in the Omusati Region for alleging that the Chief of Uukolonkadhi, Daniel Shooya, has dubiously settled within the Onandjandja resettlement centre with his second wife.
In a letter signed by Shooya and his lieutenants – Andreas Amunyela, Nekwaya Ismael and Nestor Ipinge – on Thursday after their community court hearing, the Uukolonkadhi Community Court found that there is no truth in Venomusheko’s allegations made in the local media.
“However, we ask for the assistance of a lawyer to advise whether the decision made by the community court is correct and if he (Venomusheko) should also be sued for the damage he caused to the Uukolonkadhi community and to Chief Shooya and his family in particular,” read the eviction order.
The exact date when Venomusheko is to leave Uukolonkadhi will depend on the advice of the UTA’s lawyer, the community court indicated.
Venomusheko, who hails from the Okalyafengwa village of the Ongenga Constituency in the Ohangwena Region, and other freedom fighters are part of some 40 households resettled at Onandjandja by the then Ministry of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation in 1992 on land donated by the UTA.
They were resettled on a 900-hectare piece of land, divided into land for gardens/crop fields and livestock grazing.
“The problem between us and the UTA started immediately after the then Minister of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation and now president of the country, Hifikepunye Pohamba, officially handed over the centre to us in 2003,” Venomusheko told Nampa after the community court hearing.
Although their land is fenced off, Venomusheko said, since 2003, the UTA has been allocating pieces of land to outsiders within the boundaries of their resettlement land, without the consent of the original beneficiaries.
Venomusheko and some heads of resettled families at Onandjandja told this news agency that they remain mistreated by the UTA since 2003, and they were called different names such as “Sam’s pigs” and “immigrants”.
They argued that the UTA is mistreating them because most of them are not Uukolonkadhi, and are originally from other tribes such as Oukwanyama and Uukwambi.
Some members of the UTA alleged during the community court hearing that Venomusheko wants to be a community leader, and is attempting to create his territory within the Onandjandja village.
Venomusheko, however, denied that he wants to become a village headman, saying he is only the chairperson of the Onandjandja resettlement centre committee as elected by his fellow settlers there.
“Their order for Venomusheko to leave Uukolonkadhi is tribally motivated and is issued deliberately to intimidate and serve as a threat to all of us in the resettlement centre at Onandjandja,” said Venomusheko’s colleagues in conversation with Nampa after the hearing.
They also expressed unhappiness with a statement during the community court hearing from the headman of Otjorute and councillor of the Ruacana Constituency, Abast Ipinge, referring to Venomusheko as part of Phil Ya Nangoloh’s NamRights.
“The councillor’s statement was inciting people of Uukolonkadhi to turn against him (Venomusheko), and it was not supposed to be made by a person with a responsibility to lead members of the community irrespective of their tribes,” the Onandjandja settlers argued.
Asked to shed light on his opinion following the UTA’s decision for him to leave Uukolonkadhi, Venomusheko confirmed that he will fight the decision, and was going to take up the eviction order with the court.
“I am happy that they have brought the matter to the level where their tribally motivated actions would be exposed for every impartial person to see,” Venomusheko noted, adding that he will fight the UTA’s eviction order in the spirit of “One Namibia, One Nation”.
The UTA community court resolved to expel Venomusheko from Uukolonkadhi, despite his argument during the hearing that a certain Pascaria, who is looking after Shooy’s land at Onandjandja, has confessed to settlers that she is the second wife of Chief Shooya.
Venomusheko said Pascaria needs to be called to testify.