By: Annakleta Haikera
The Namibian police in the Kavango East have launched a manhunt for Christian Kudumo, a Rundu resident suspected of killing his girlfriend, Andeline Augustinus.
Augustinus’ body was discovered in the early morning hours of Tuesday at Sun City settlement. Kudumo is still on the run.
Augustinus is believed to have been a victim of domestic violence. She was found in a corrugated roof house that her uncle rented out to her. Her body sustained cut wounds on the left side of her head. The police believe that the suspect used a traditional axe to attack her.
The Kavango East regional crime investigation coordinator, Bonifatius Kanyetu, told The Villager that the suspect, who was in a relationship with the deceased, was in the process of divorce, which brought a dispute between the two.
Kanyetu also said Kudumo had been abusing the wife, which led her to move from Ndama, where her marital house is, to Sun City informal settlement, where the uncle accommodated her. She was found dead on Tuesday morning at around 08h00.
“A case of murder has been opened against the suspect, but he is still on the run. The police are asking for public assistance to trace the suspect. He has been identified as Christian Kudumo, also a disabled man with hearing problems but has been working for OK Foods in Rundu. He is originally from Shikenge Village in the Kavango East,” Kanyetu further said.
Meanwhile, Augustinus’s uncle Lukas Chikalu told The Villager that the couple were both living with disability and had been in a relationship for more than six years.
“He fathered three children with her. The firstborn is only six years old and has been living with me at Matende. We know the history of Kudumo, the suspect. He is very violent, that’s why we decided to remove my niece from his house and bring her here closer to us, but still, we have been having problems with communication with my niece.”
According to Chikalu, he had told her to stay away from the husband and even took her for counselling. He said the two fought over everything, and just last week, the suspect allegedly posted on his Facebook page wall that he is single.
“Maybe that’s why all this happened because my niece was not happy when the news was shared, and people at her workplace were laughing at her for accommodating a man who was not interested in her.”
“My niece tried so many times to let go. She even told him that she would involve the police. We had several meetings with both of them, and nothing changed. The man was still beating her. She was the only breadwinner in the house. I don’t know how we will explain this to her three children. It’s so painful to deal with such death. No one knows what happened last night because we didn’t hear anything.” he said.
In 2019, the Kavango East region recorded 54 GBV cases between January and April of that year.
The following year, the Kavango East governor Bonifatius Wakudumo called on stakeholders to ensure their efforts were coordinated in the fight against gender-based violence.
Wakudumo, at the time, said it was saddening for a country with such a small population to have a high rate of violence.