THE tense period that followed the death of King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas came to an abrupt end this morning when urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga announced his approval of the application of Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo as the new head of the Ondonga Traditional Community.
King Elifas died in the Onandjokwe district hospital on the 26th of March and was buried and Olukonda on 13th of April, but his succession was immediately plugged in controversy the next day when two members of the royal clan – Nangolo and his uncle Konis Eino Kalenga – stepped forward each claiming to be the legitimate heir to the throne.
Nangolo was crowned that same day during a traditional ceremony at his traditional homestead in the Onambango village near Ondangwa, but that same day another faction of the royal clan designated Kalenga as the new king of Ondonga.
Nangolo, who was hand-picked by late King Elifas as his successor, enjoyed the support of an influential faction of the royal clan and the majority of members of the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA), but another powerful faction of the royal clan supported Kalenga as the new king of Ondonga saying that late King Elifas’ choice of Nangolo was contrary to the customary norms of Ondonga.
Both Nangolo and Kalenga sent their respective applications to Minister Mushelenga for approval, all the while conducting publicity campaigns meant to win the hearts and minds of the Ondonga community.
Nangolo’s campaign was spearheaded by the Ondonga Community Committee 2017 and a group of senior and junior traditional councilors allegedly dismissed by king Elifas but who were not degazetted and who currently run a parallel OTA office at Onethindi in the Oniipa town, Oshikoto Region, while Kalenga’s campaign was operating from the Oluno office of the OTA and was spearheaded by a faction of the royal clan led by Selma Gwanandjokwe Shejavali and included former police Chief Inspector Oscar Sheehama, who together with Kalenga filed a failed High Court case days before the burial of late King Elifas to stop the crowning of Nangolo as new king of Ondonga.
Writing to the OTA secretary Joseph Asino this morning, Minister Muselenga said: “I am hereby notifying you as per the provision of Section 5(2) of the Traditional Authorities Act (No. 25 of 2000) that I have approved the application to designate Mr. Shuumbwa Fillemon Nangolo as Chief/Head of the Ondonga Traditional Community, to succeed the late Chief Immanuel Kauluma Elifas who passed away on 26 March 2019.”
Aspirant to the throne, Konis Kalenga, refused to comment.
“I have nothing to say because nobody has yet informed me about the latest developments,” he said.
However, people close to the royal clan that supports Kalenga said that they have already compiled plans to institute legal proceedings to block the official crowning of Nangolo scheduled to take place at Onambango on the 29th of this month.