SWAKOPMUND, 05 APR – The !Oe-#Gan community in Okombahe will on Saturday elect a temporary leader to replace Chief Immanuel /Gaseb.
Senior councillor of the !Oe-#Gan Traditional Authority, Josef /Narib confirmed this to Nampa on Wednesday.
He said this decision follows a vote of no confidence letter sent to /Gaseb last month, instructing him to step down. The letter said if he failed to do so, a replacement leader would be found.
The chief was instructed to step down by 31 March but according to /Narib, this did not take place.
When called by Nampa last month, the chief said he received the letter and promised to meet with four of his senior councillor to discuss the matter.
On Wednesday, /Narib said such a meeting did not take place.
“He promised to meet us after the letter but as always he never did. We will hold a meeting on Saturday at Okombahe to elect some people and a committee to lead the community while we prepare to elect a new chief,” /Narib said.
/Gaseb on Wednesday refused to comment on why he did not show up for the meeting or respond to the letter.
“I have no comments; those councillors tarnished my name. I told them I am not at their level – I am their chief. I have taken the legal route to tackle this matter,” a visibly irate chief said.
The community said there is no prospect of economic advancement and unity for them under the leadership of /Gaseb, hence he must step down.
They allege that the chief failed to comply with the Traditional Authority Act and Customary Law for the past 17 years.
/Gaseb allegedly failed to establish a Board of Trustees and submit audited financial reports to the community for this period.
They also said he failed to establish legislative authority structures and operated in a vacuum, allegedly selling, donating and alienating portions of communal land to private investors without the consent of the community.
Another reason, they claimed, is the “protracted absence of the chief from the community and remote control of the traditional authority from Windhoek, which rendered ineffective service delivery to the community.”