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Mukwe Residents Welcome “Ritual Killings” Curfew

By: Annakleta Haikera

Following the death of the 17- year old Felix Disho Thikundeko, whose body was discovered in July at the Rudhiva Village, the Hambukushu Traditional Authority in the Mukwe Constituency in the Kavango East instructed bar owners at Shadikongoro Village to close at 18h30.

This order was taken to minimise alleged ritual killings. According to community reports, more than 19 people in the Mukwe area were found dead and some body parts missing. This was believed to be alleged ritual killings in the area. Following the curfew order, the community members are delighted to have this at Shadikongoro.

The order to close down bars was made by the Hambukushu Traditional Authority Fumu Erwin Mbambo.

Mbambo believes the restriction of the bar’s operating hours will reduce ritual killing cases in his area of jurisdiction, which he says are on the increase.

Ndara Pontasius, an uncle to the late Benhard Mugharo (22), whose body was also discovered with missing parts in July, told The Villager that he is relieved and optimistic that the decision made by the chief was in the interest of his community members.

“Mukwe is well known for this kind of alleged ritual killings, and that’s not a good name for some of us residing there. Some bar owners are connected to these ritual killings so that maybe their businesses can start booming. Well, guess what? They rob us of our loved ones. I am happy that people will also start staying home because when bars are closed, only a few people are seen in the streets.”

Dinyando Tjitho, a resident at Shadikongoro, told The Villager that while some residents are saddened by the news of closing down bars at the time given by the Fumu, “this is for our people to be on alert and stay safe. We believe that not all bar owners are involved in the alleged ritual killings. I know very well that if this curfew were not given, by December, we would still have more dead bodies floating in the Mukwe rivers.”

Dinyando also applauded the Fumu for not enforcing the curfew for only a month.

“I think the bars will remain like this until next year. If another accident happens in between this period of the curfew, then we will see where the problem is coming from, but most of all, all those bodies that were found with body parts missing came from certain bars.”

Another community member who chose to remain anonymous said the curfew will help the police to do their operations.

“If some bars will be found operating after hours, then that means the bar’s owner will be arrested for not adhering to the rules and regulations.”

“I am very pleased as a resident at Shadikongoro for the step taken by the Traditional Authority. Maybe in this way, these people killing others will stop, and we will live in a safe and secure environment.”

Two suspects were arrested for allegedly murdering the 17-year-old Felix Thikundeko and appeared in the Mukwe Periodical Court, where they were denied bail.

They are faced with two charges each; murder and defeating the course of justice. According to the police report, the two suspects were the ones who were last seen with the deceased on 26 June, and the suspects allegedly killed Thikundeko with an unknown object and later dumped his body in the river, intending to defeat the course of justice.

Their next court date is set for 5 October 2022.

Julia Heita

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