By Hileni Nembwaya
THE Mayor of the newly established Oniipa town council, Kambonde Mannetjie Tsenayo is being accused of illegally fencing off a large portion of land belonging to the Olukonda parish intended for the expansion of the cemetery.
The current Olukonda cemetery is due to run out of burial space soon thus the need to expand the cemetery was necessitated by the Olukonda parish congregation members.
According to one of the concerned members of the congregation, a few days after the parish had erected poles to mark off the portion of land allocated to them by the Olukonda village headman, Peter Awene, Tsenayo descended on the land and fenced it off to pave way for the construction of his homestead leaving only a little space for the cemetery expansion.
This did not go well with church members and residents who cited that their relatives would have nowhere to be buried if the burial space at the old cemetery runs out.
“That man (Tsenayo) is too selfish. He is fighting for what does not belong to him. The old cemetery is due to run out of burial space very soon and our people will have nowhere to be buried. A few days ago, when we approached him, he told us that he was allocated the land by Awene and that he does not care if the cemetery runs out of burial space because he will not be buried at that cemetery. He will apparently be cremated,” a disgruntled congregation member said.
Another source who preferred to remain anonymous echoed the same sentiments alleging that Tsenayo disrespects Awene by doing what pleases him without consulting the headman as per protocol.
“Tsenayo is a very corrupt man who does whatever he wants to do without asking for authorisation from Awene who is the head of the village. We are tired of his actions and we really need someone to intervene into this matter and help us out. At the moment we can no longer continue with cemetery expansion because of him,” said a source.
Tsenayo on his part said that he is not grabbing anyone’s land thus he cannot afford to lose any land on his name. “That will be tantamount to me betraying my own conscience and my ancestors. I am just continuing to do what my grandparents have done for the community they resided in,” he said.
He continued to say that he has papers in his name stating that he is the rightful owner of the land.
Last year the parish priest, Simon Iitula and other members of the congregation approached Awene to allocate them the vacant land adjacent to the old cemetery in order to expand the cemetery. However, Awene only managed to grant the parish the vacant land about two weeks ago. Iitula said that the expansion of the cemetery will serve both the congregation members of Olukonda and Oniipa parish as currently cemeteries for both parishes are about to run out of space.
“We confronted Tsenayo on the matter but it all ended in vain. However the matter is now being handled by Awene. I do not have much to say on the matter because it is being handled by the village elders,” said Iitula.
When contacted for comment, Awene said that Tsenayo is fighting for what does not rightfully belong to him because he has not allocated him any portion of land.
“I feel so bad, in fact I am hurt by what he (Tsenayo) is doing. I allocated the plot to the church not him. The church is in dire need of the land. He must stop accusing me of what I did not do,” said the irritated Awene.
The Olukonda cemetery sits on a piece of land along the main road passing through the village.
Tsenayo is not new to controversy as he was arrested by the Anti- Corruption Commission in 2014 in connection of alleged fraud related to a combined N$332 000 paid by customers for sand/gravel from a pit administered by the Ondonga Traditional Authority, but instead deposited into his private accounts. Tsenayo reportedly deposited six cheques amounting to more than N$211 810 paid for the sand into his business account.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015