Academic Mutjinde Katjiua has provoked a scathing rebuke from government after a video clip, making rounds on social media of the Ovaherero paramount chief claimant, came to light in recent days.
Government spokesperson and information minister Peya Mushelenga yesterday responded to the clip, labelling the aspiring chief divisive and irresponsible.
“It is a misleading, non-factual, divisive and irresponsible remark from a person who is vying for an office that requires a demonstration of maturity and civility,”
Mushelenga said. He was not alone in condemning Katjiua’s claims.
The Presidency’s press secretary, Alfredo Hengari, said the statement is “empty, toxic tribalist rhetoric, which has no place in the Namibian House. It does not deserve any commentary from the Presidency”.
Katjiua said a “stooge” would operate in the interest of both Namibian and German governments at the expense of the Ovaherero people.
“I am saying the Namibian government because that is a government dominated by the Ovambo [Aawambo] people who have not felt colonialism. They don’t know what it means. They have not lost land. They’ve not lost lives,” Katjiua said.
Preliminary information indicates that Katjiua made the remarks during his recent trip to the United Kingdom, where he addressed exiled Otjiherero-speaking community.
Dressed in his trademark white glove, Katjiua added: “That is why the Germans knew that come independence, the Ovambos [Aawambo] are 55% of the population; therefore, they will support Swapo. They will make sure Swapo wins the election; they will side with the Swapo government because, together, they can marginalise the Ovaherero people”. Yesterday, Katjiua did not respond to questions regarding his recent remarks. His comments come at a time when a rival Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) faction is set to elect their paramount chief (PC). This group is spearheaded by Ovitoto chief Vipuira Kapuua.
It has shortlisted two politicians and an academic, who is set to compete for the position of PC, despite Katjiua having already been “elected” as the ombara otjitambi.
Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani, Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president Mike Kavekotora and academic Hoze Riruako are contenders for the PC position at an election slated for early next year.
At the moment, Kapuuo, who is the chairperson of the OTA, considers himself the acting paramount chief, while Katjiua was installed in July as PC by certain OTA quarters.