PRESIDENT Hage Geingob’s recent visit to the Onambango Palace of King Phillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo of the Ondonga Traditional Authority has demonstrated the strong bond of cooperation that exists between the eight traditional authorities of Ovawambo and the support the Namibian Head of State enjoys among traditional leaders in the northern regions.
Geingob went to congratulate Nangolo for inheriting the Ondonga crown from late King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas who died last year.
Elifas’ death was followed by a leadership crisis, with two factions of the traditional authority supporting two different candidates.
Nangolo eventually emerged victorious having overcome a number of High Court challenges that were meant to stop his coronation.
Geingob said he was happy to hear that the two factions have now reconciled.
He said that the Ondonga leadership crisis was very difficult to him because he was very close to the late king Elifas.
Geingob was welcomed by King Nangolo joined by a huge crowd of Aandonga and heads of other five traditional communities, representing about 90 percent of Aawambo whose total number is estimated to be close to 1.5 million.
Joining King Nangolo at Onambango on Saturday were Chiefs Herman Iipumbu of Uumwambi, Oswin Mukulu of Ombalantu and Matias Walaula of Ombadja as well as Queen Martha Mwadinimho Kristian Nelumbu of Oukwanyama. King Johannes Mupiya of Ongandjera was represented by senior traditional councillor Johannes Kandombo.
Queen Nelumbu’s secretary, Dineinge Sheya said: “His majesty King Nangolo personally invited Meekulu [Nelumbu] to join him in welcoming the president. This is actually how things are done in our Oshiwambo tradition, a symbol of unity and solidarity. Meekulu gladly accepted the invitation.”
The spokesperson of the Ombalantu traditional community, Angula Kanelombe, said that when King Nangolo invited heads of neighbouring tribes to join him in welcoming the president, the young monarch demonstrated that he is up to speed when it comes to traditional norms.
“He demonstrated that he understands and respects the customary norms of Aawambo,” said Kanelombe, adding: “That is exactly how important visitors are welcomed. When you have important visitors you invite your neighbours to join you in welcoming them.”
The two Aawambo tribes farthest to the west – Uukwaluudhi and Uukolonkadhi – were not represented, an absence that was attributed to the incessant rainfall over the weekend.