By: Wonder Guchu
The Hambukushu Traditional Authority has found seven people guilty for the death of a Unam student whose body was found floating in the Kavango River in June this year.
The Unam student, Mukuve Fredrick Kanyanga (22), went missing on 18 June 2021 and his body was found on 21 June 2021 in the river and the doctor concluded that he was murdered.
He was last seen with his friends between Shadipwera, Rudhiva, Shadikongoro and Kapako in the Mukwe constituency.
His body was later found floating in the Kavango River at Kapako village in the Mukwe constituency in Kavango East.
Those who were hauled before the traditional court on Friday are bar owner Thikaki Haushiku and his bar tender Monica Sinkanda.
Others are Godfred Ndumba, Andreas Katura, Frances Kamukwanyama, Basco Yakeya, Simeon Dimbu and Deon Simbwaye.
They were each ordered to pay N$22 500 per person and 15 head of cattle per person according to the tradition act.
In addition, Thikaki, who operates a bar at Shandikongoro was asked to close down the business with immediate effect.
FAMILY STILL NEEDS JUSTICE
Kanyanga’s sister Kalyanga Justa said the family still wants justice for his death.
Justa said although the traditional authority did what it could, it does not make any difference.
“We are not going to get him back,” she said, adding that those fined did not admit to killing her brother but were found guilty for not acting on time to save him.
According to Justa, Ndumba was sharing a room with her brother in Rundu. She said both Ndumba and Dimbu are in their early 20s.
Ndumba was best my brother’s friend, knew each other at home. Asked my brother to sharing room in Rundu.
“My brother was in first year, while Ndumba is at Namcol. Our villages are close to each other.”
Narrating what she was told happened, Justa said her brother was asked to travel in a police officer’s vehicle with strangers and that Ndumba followed in another car.
She said instead of going to the village where the memorial service was, Justa said they drove to Divundu.
What hurts most, Justa said, is that the people have not been arrested yet.
“The police said there was no evidence. It really hurts,” she said.
Justa also said those who viewed the body said there was something missing, while the doctor said Kanyanga was strangled to death.
ACTION AT LAST
The latest action by the traditional authority comes months after the Shandikongoro community had threatened to deal with businesspeople, especially bar owners whom they accused of being behind the mysterious deaths in the area.
On 26 June 2021, Mukwe constituency councillor Damian Maghambayi had to write to the communities not to take the law into their own hands.
The Shandikongoro village development committee had said that the police were not doing anything even though about 18 people had died mysteriously over the years.
The development committee said the bodies were either found floating in the river or dumped in the bushes.
In addition, the community development committee said none had been arrested in connection with the mysterious deaths.
“We refuse to wait for police investigations because similar cases happened in our community; the police were investigating but nothing has come out.
“We have lost 18 people so far, the police were involved to investigate but no one was arrested over all these cases, while the community suspect the shebeen owners but no arrest has been made at all.
“One of the things we demand from you is that you must invite the media to come and capture our demonstration before the burial of the late Kanyanga. We need you to take this letter into consideration and to respond to our cry within these days.
“Failure to that, we are going to take the law into our own hands because we are sick and tired of these deliberate incidents,” the community development committee said.
THE POLICE VERSION
When Kanyanga disappeared, the Kavango East crime investigations coordinator Bonifatius Kanyetu told the media that the student left for Mamono village for a relative’s memorial service.
Kanyetu said some of the friends who were in Kanyanga’s company gave the student N$200 and asked him to buy beer at a shebeen.
He said Kanyanga, who was drunk at the time, disappeared.
Justa, however, said they suspect that the police are covering for the murder because one of their own is involved.