THE Namibian Police will maintain a visible presence during the commemoration of Red Flag Day in Okahandja over the weekend to ensure that law and order will prevail after they had to intervene when tensions between supporters of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) and OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House came to blows.
Scuffles broke out on Friday after the supporters of the royal house illegally occupied the land of the OTA and cut through a fence around the pedestal of the flag poles to hoist the red flag next to that of the OTA. In the meantime calm has returned to the town after the tensions were defused.
Kakotura Kuhanga from the royal house said members gathered at the venue to commemorate the 96th anniversary of the re-burial of the remains of Chief Samuel Katjiikumbua Maharero in Okahandja.
“Representatives of the Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) showed up and demanded that the royal house supporters move away from their land.”
When the tension between the two groups started to get physical the police had to intervene in the matter and several people were taken to the police station to defuse the situation.
According to the Secretary General of the OTA, Mutjinde Katjiua, the MTA people illegally occupied a plot belonging to the traditional authority. Katjua confirmed that some damage was done to the fence around the flagpoles.
“The trouble already started on Friday morning when some of the people entered the plot. The police was called to mediate and a meeting was scheduled. When the meeting eventually took place, our members walked out because we did not need to discuss their illegal entry on our land,” he said.
Katjiua said some OTA members then went to the site where the illegal occupiers were removed with minimum force. He said the OTA registered a case of malicious damage to property and that they are waiting for the police to act on it.
According to Deputy Commissioner Kheirabeb some people were taken away from the site to defuse the tensions. He said none of the people involved in the scuffles were arrested.
“None of the people involved were willing to lay charges of assault. The only case that was registered with the Okahandja Police was that of malicious damage to property by the OTA because of the fence that was damaged.”
The OTA supports Chief Vekuii Rukoro, while the other faction backs Chief of the OtjikaTjamuaha Royal House, Tjinaani Maharero.
Red Flag Day will be officially be commemorated on Sunday when thousands of people will converge Okahandja for the event.
Deputy Commissioner Kheirabeb said that the Namibian Police in Okahandja will maintain a strong presence in the vicinity of the proceedings to ensure that law and order will prevail.