Inhouse fights among OvaHimba people force council to revoke their land

During the first council meeting of the Swakopmund Municipality for 2021, it was decided that the Swakopmund Council will revoke the land allocated to the Ovahimba Cultural group at the Martin Luther Historical Site in Swakopmund due to existing infights and conflict among the above-mentioned group.

Last year in February namib times reported on the inhouse fights among the OvaHimba people living in Swakopmund which caused a halt in the establishment of a leadership structure and pro-per management of the OvaHimba cultural village at that time, the fights continued and seems like it will never be resolved.
In an interview with namib times the Economic Development Officer of the Swakopmund Municipality Rauna Shipunda, said the fights started because of money and leadership.
“There was no proper structure when they started so whoever got their hands on the money never used to share with the others or even pay the dancers. The village was established to create employment to the OvaHimba community and we belief it was the right move to have them establish this village, but how can we move on if there are fights and when there is no proper structure”, said Shipunda.
According to council, Mr Marikondjo Tjambiru who is the self-proclaimed leader and manager of the OvaHimba Cultural Village is claiming ownership of the village and he would like to dictate on who he wants to work with. As stated by council, this type of leadership has deprived the majority the benefit they could get from this village.
Follow the series of events and the fights, the Economic Development Office within the Swakopmund Municipality has suggested that the land on which the village is, revoked from the group and that the whole land be fenced off to allow development of a cultural centre in future in which all the cultures can be allocated a portion to display their products artefacts.

After the matter was considered council recommended that both groups, one led by Tjambiru and one under Mr Tjijerua be advised to remove their structures and vacate the area. Council also recommended that the Economic Development office plans for the demarcation of land earmarked for the Cultural Centre and that once the area has been demarcated, invitations for ex-pression of interest from different cultural groups/ cooperatives/individuals that want to lease a portion in the centre be compiled.

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