Mpasi gets 4x4 as ‘thank you’By: CATHERINE SASMAN
UKWANGALI chief Sitentu Mpasi acknowledged in the Kahenge Magistrate’s Court in the Kavango Region that he received a Land Cruiser 4x4 as ‘thank you’ for land he had given the Ohangwena Governor Uusko Nghaamwa years ago.
Mpasi made the startling admission in a court case in which Mpasi laid charges of illegal grazing against 30 farmers from the Oshikoto and Ohangwena regions.
The case was heard in the Kahenge Magistrate’s Court from Monday to Friday last week. Under cross-examination by defence counsel Norman Tjombe, Mpasi said he was given the Land Cruiser by Nghaamwa for two pieces of land in the Ukwangali communal area that he had granted to the governor.
The chief initially denied that he had given any Oshiwambo speaking farmers permission to graze their cattle in the area, but after two days of cross-examination, he caved in and admitted that he had given land to political heavyweights.
Among those he said he had given land to are Nghaamwa, Minister of Works and Transport Erkki Nghimtina, the former chief of the defence force, Dimo Hamaambo, who died in 2002, Namibian ambassador in Russia Ndali Kamati and former Swapo member – now with the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) – Shapwa Kaukungwa.
After it was put to him that he chose to evict only the poorer farmers as opposed to the politically connected ones, Mpasi admitted having been given the Land Cruiser as a gift by governor Nghaamwa.
After having made these admissions, the magistrate warned Mpasi that he may refuse to answer any questions which may incriminate him.
“I still continue to donate if I have something to donate. That is not a payment for,” said Nghaamwa when approached for comment yesterday.
“I give lots of contributions to kings, queens, schools, hostels, special doctors. I pay from my own pocket. I will continue to support,” Nghaamwa continued.
Chief Mpasi in 2006 accused the 30 communal farmers from the Oshikoto and Ohangwena regions of grazing their cattle illegally in the territory of the Ukwangali Traditional Authority.
Alongside these farmers, the widow Emilia Nghilundilwa was also illegally grazing in the area, according to the chief.
The Prosecutor General has withdrawn the case against Nghilundilwa since her deceased husband was an Ukwangali subject and thus eligible to graze cattle in the traditional area.
Mpasi was asked in court whether Nghilundilwa was evicted because she had refused a marriage proposal from him. The chief denied the suggestion with indignation.
Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa withdrew charges against six other accused on similar grounds as Nghilundilwa.
The case will resume on August 28.