PREPARATIONS for the planned restoration of the Oukwanyama monarchy on the Angolan side of the international border are gaining momentum with the intensification of trilateral contacts between members of the Restoration Committee, the Angolan authorities and the Oukwanyama Traditional Authority.
If everything goes according to plan, the Oukwanyama traditional community in Angola will have their own monarch come February next year.
The date for the coronation of the new monarch is deliberately timed to coincide with the 103rd commemoration of the death of King Mandume Ya Ndemufayo who was killed in combat at Oihole in southern Angola in 1917.
This information was revealed Saturday when members of the committee for the restoration of the Oukwanyama royal house on the Angolan side visited Queen Martha Mwadinomho Kristian Nelumbu at her Omhedi Palace in the Ohangwena Region on Saturday.
The visiting delegation briefed Queen Nelumbu on the progress made with the preparations for the planned installation of the monarch for the Oukwanyama traditional community in Angola.
The delegation included queen-designate Peinge-omake Nghishekwa and her sister Mweuyanawa Nghishekwa as well as the committee chairman Bonifacio Shihafeleni and his deputy Bernardo Kamushiinge.
Shihafeleni informed Nelumbu on progress made since their last visit to the Omhedi Palace a few weeks ago. He spoke about their visit to Luanda and the contacts they made with the relevant Angolan authorities and also revealed that Nghishekwa’s installation is preliminarily scheduled to take place on 6 February next year, coinciding with the 103rdcommemoration of death of King Mandume Ya Ndemufayo.
He further exhibited the emblem of the Angolan monarch, which is essentially similar to that of the monarch of Ovakwanyama of Namibia.
But the issue that really attracted a lively discussion was the possible location of Nghishekwa’s palace.
A palace was built in the Oipembe village west of Ondjiva, but it is currently occupied by veteran MPLA politician Jeronimo Haleinge who had himself crowned king in February this year – a coronation not recognized by the Angolan government.
Unlike Peinge-omake Nghishekwa who is a member of the royal clan of Oukwanyama, Haleinge is said to be “an intruder”.
According to Shihafeleni, Nghishekwa’s palace will either be built east of Ondjiva at Omukumbwaimbi where the palace of King Nande yaHedimbi (the 15th king of Oukwanyama) was situated, or it will be constructed south of Ondjiva ear the Catholic Mission Station at Omupanda.
Queen Nelumbu and her lieutenants added a third possible locale for the new palace which is the Oihole village where Mandume’s palace was and where his tomb is currently a historical monument and a tourist attraction site.
Welcoming the visitors, Queen Nelumbu was joined by senior traditional councilors George Nelulu and Nghidinihamba Ndilula, retired diplomat Hadino Hishongwa, retired police commissioner Nghiyalasha Haulyondjaba, retired Anglican bishop Shihala Hamupembe and palace head of protocol Likius Kakololo.