THE Namibian police in the Oshikoto Region had to intervene to avert physical confrontation between two squabbling factions in the Uukwanambwa district of Ondonga on Saturday.
It is alleged that the head of the district, senior traditional councillor Wilhelm Lidker convened a community meeting at Okatope village for Saturday morning, but when members of the community arrived they found the venue already occupied by members of another faction who insisted that no meeting would take place.
The police was notified and their prompt intervention helped to defuse the tense situation, allowing the gathering to go ahead as planned, said a source who witnessed the drama.
Uukwanambwa is one of the districts of Ondonga with no clear traditional leadership due to disputed dismissals and appointments of senior and junior traditional councillors in recent years.
Lidker lost his position in the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA) due to a criminal charge he was facing in the Tsumeb magistrate’s court.
Esther Nepando was appointed to replace him as head of the district.
However, Lidker was found not guilty and returned to claim his position in the OTA, but Nepando refused to vacate the position.
Lidker is still the gazetted leader and serves as juror in the community court and was one of the jurors and assessors who attended a refresher course at Ondongwa last week.
The community meeting at Okatope was meant to brief the community on the latest developments following the justice ministry’s order that the Ondonga community court should resume its activities.
The community court was suspended a year ago after many of the jurors and assessors who also served as senior and junior traditional councillors were dismissed by late King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, a move they are still disputing in the high court.