Leader of a faction of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) Hoze Riruako has accepted defeat in a prolonged case about the ownership of a Windhoek property where the Ovaherero community’s Commando Hall is situated, and called on his subjects to cease spending money on court battles, to the detriment of poverty eradication efforts.
Riruako said this at a press conference held at Commando Number 1 at Okahandja yesterday, while pronouncing their stance on a court judgement against the Herero Royal Red Flag Association (HRRFA).
He described the loss of the portion of land situated near the Commando Hall Number 2, to the HRRFA, as huge, further maintaining that the High Court has erred in its judgement.
Prior to the judgement, the Herero Red Flag Association (HRFA) claimed ownership of the property.
“The HRFA respects the judgment of both the High Court and the Supreme Court in the dispute concerning Commando Number 2.
I must, however, attest to the fact that it is the wrong decision purported by the correct legal technicalities,” Riruako said.
“Fellow Ovaherero, let us accept what we cannot change. We are law-abiding citizens of this country and we have complete faith in our independent judicial systems,” he added.
Riruako went on to ask the gathering whether the group should “mourn and cry like victims or rather chart a new course of action that will not make us look like fools”.
Detailing the losses, Riruako maintained that the case cost them over N$360 000, while the commando case set them back with close to N$1 million.
“And by the time we are done with the review case dealing with the current leadership challenge, we would have forked out close to N$2 million. This comes to a total of N$3,4 million,” Riruako revealed, querying whether the community was ready to raise funds for these sorts of cases.
“I deem it appropriate for us to redirect those and other resources that we gather to deal with the element of severe drastic climate change which resulted in our agricultural sector being subjected to a very severe knock that saw many of the subsistence and emerging farmers losing their entire livestock and experiencing catastrophic crop failures,” he said.
“For a long time, we have been victims, for a long time, we have been used by others to fight battles that are not even ours and to make enemies out of people who have nothing against us,” he added.
He urged the gathering to join forces with all tiers of government, non-governmental organisations, aid agencies and charitable organisations in stamping out the challenges associated with poverty alleviation, malnutrition and complete food shortages.
He further called on his subjects to proactively initiate sustainable projects as a means of feeding themselves while using whatever surplus as cash crops to improve their earnings.
“We cannot afford to be idle in such a crucial situation, while waiting for others to provide for us,” Riruako said.
Riruako’s assertions got the thumbs up from historian and former journalist Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro, who maintained that he, as a new leader should be embraced by traditional authorities across the land, particularly those of the Ovaherero.
“It sounds like he wants to chart a new course and this could be the beginning of a new way through which we can go about handling our traditional disputes. Some of these cases should have never reached courts in the first place,” Matundu-Tjiparuro said, further maintaining that having two separate red flag regiments within the Ovaherero people is superficial.
“I think it is high time that the conventional courts pronounce themselves and leave some of these issues to the traditional courts. This should be a sign for all traditional leaders that we should revert to how these matters were dealt with in the past and avoid all these unnecessary divisions,” Matundu-Tjiparuro said.
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