NEARLY 20 residents of Ekonghola village in the Ombulu district held a peaceful demonstration asking for the appointment of a headman they elected themselves to be their leader on Thursday.
They held posters with messages such as, “A headman should be appointed fairly, not because of tribalism,” “We need our King’s intervention on this matter,” and “Stop nepotism in Ombulu district.”
Ombulu district, located in the Oshikoto Region and falling under the Ondonga Traditional Authority, has over 30 villages, including Ekonghola village. However, the community members indicated that they are being forced to accept a leader who does not live in their community but only owns a cattle post.
They expressed their opposition to Sylvanus Elago Lagos, who has been appointed as the next headman after the passing of Antonius Nghilongwa.
Informanté has reliable information that Lagos is expected to be inaugurated as the headman of Ekonghola village next week, a move that the residents are now trying to prevent.
Officially handing over the petition, Aune Gabriel, group spokesperson, said the outcry should be heard across the country and by other traditional leaders, specifically the King of Ondonga, Fillemon Nangolo Shuumbwa, to address the matter.
Gabriel indicated that they are being forced to accept someone the community does not want, adding that the Traditional Authorities Act of 2000 stipulates that a headman or headwoman should be elected by residents of that community and must be a permanent resident if they are to be appointed.
“We don’t have a problem being led by anyone else. We don’t want Lagos as he is not from Ekonghola and has no understanding of our needs,” she said.
She then gave the authority until November 22, 2023, to respond.
Accepting the petition, Lot Kasamane, the second in charge in the Ondangwa district, indicated that their grievance has been heard and will be given to the right authority to respond.