Saturday 15 May 2021
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Mushelenga rues high cost of tribal disputes

Failure by members of traditional authorities to reach consensus in honouring the decisions and recommendations of government places excessive strain on public resources, Urban and Rural Development minister Peya Mushelenga said.
He said this at the opening of 21 annual indaba of the Council of Traditional Leaders.
Mushelenga said traditional authorities that are embroiled find themselves stagnant when it comes to resolving these disputes.
In an attempt to mitigate the prevalence of tribal disputes, he said his ministry is compelled to investigate some of the issues, but all efforts go to waste when leaders do not follow recommendations.
“It is tax payers’ money that goes to waste when traditional leaders don’t follow the recommendations,” he said.
He adds, “It is our preference to allow matters to be resolved in terms of customary laws. But it can only be achieved with cooperation from members of the Traditional Authorities. Failure in this regard has always led to litigation, where matters are put before the judiciary for adjudication.”
At the same occasion, President Hage Geingob also shared the same sentiments saying traditional disputes should be solved traditionally while resources should be steered to developmental issues.
“Government resources should be allocated towards infrastructure development, education, health and uplifting the poor and needy and not in settling disputes. Unfortunately some of these resources are now used for the purpose of resolving these needless disputes. Sometimes in the courts and we have to pay for that,” said Geingob.
A concerned Geingob highlighted the continued and costly succession disputes, saying it has significantly impacted the integrity of such authorities and has caused it to come under threat.
“It is particularity disheartening when one looks at these incidences in the context of our new narrative of nation building, which posits the importance of unity. In no way do these infightings contribute towards the promotion and preservation of unity and the interest of the community,” he said.
Geingob emphasized that every society has a set of values, covering various aspects of human endeavor. Thus, issues of chieftainship succession in Africa should focus on maintaining the values and traditions of society in the interest of the wider community.
Forgoing the traditional formula and taking these disputes into the arena of modern day courts erodes the traditional values and norms in our society.
“There is a traditional way for succession, what happened to it? Why don’t we follow traditions and cultures? Why do we go to modern courts which are basically based on white people’s culture?” queried Geingob.

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