By: Annakleta Haikera
Felix Disho Thikundeko is the latest victim of mysterious deaths and disappearances in the Kavango river that has left both villagers and police baffled.
The police discovered Thikundeko’s naked body on Friday floating in a swamp with several body parts missing.
Thikundeko was a Grade 8 pupil from the Diyana Combined School and mysteriously went missing from Rudhiva village in the Kavango East last Sunday, 26 June, before his body was discovered. The body has been transported to the Rundu mortuary for a post-mortem to be carried out to determine the exact cause of death.
The Kavango East regional crime investigation coordinator Bonifatius Kanyetu told The Villager that the police suspect foul behaviour surrounding Thikundeko’s death.
“More time is needed for the Namibian Police to perform a thorough investigation. Residents and those that have more information should come forward for the investigation to be sped up,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mukwe constituency community members suspect that Thikundeko was a victim of ritual killings, which are said to be rife in the village.
This is the 19th body found floating at the same spot where other bodies were found, including the body of the 22-year-old Unam student whose body was found floating last year not far from where Thikundeko was found.
Hoi Hoi U, a resident at Rudhiva, told The Villager that he, along with other residents, made the gruesome discovery and alerted the police of what they found.
“When we came at the river, we saw something floating on the riverbank, and yes, we were all shocked to see such a gruesome sight because everyone at the village knows when someone goes missing. This is the exact spot where previous missing bodies were found.”
He added, “This is not the only body found at this spot. Most of the missing bodies are found here. This one marks the 19th one. We all witness that the late boy’s clothes were found thrown away at a specific house in this area, and we are not happy that such incidents are happening every year during the same month but on different dates.”
The youth in the Mukwe constituency are planning to have a peaceful demonstration on Wednesday, 6 July seeking justice Thikundeko.
The Mukwe constituency is not the only one which grapples with mysterious deaths in the Kavango East. In April this year, the Kaisosi community members in Rundu Rural held a demonstration and handed over a petition to the governor, Bonifatius Wakudumo, regarding 11 unsolved mysterious deaths.
That particular demonstration was triggered by the discovery of Tavares Ferro Bauriruus, a 20-year-old who was found dead on 21 March. The community of Kaisosi, who, like Mukwe residents, also believe the deaths to be by homicide, demanded that the culprits be brought to light and that the state empower the Kaisosi police substation to carry out investigations.