THE family of two Namibian children who were allegedly murdered by their mother in Ethiopia have called on the police to finalise its investigation into the case that has been dragging on since December 2020.
Namibian citizen Kristofina Amutenya, who was married to Peter Haufiku, the trade attaché at the Namibian embassy in Addis Ababa, was accused of killing their children, Jenay (9) and Jane Haufiku (3), on 13 December 2020 in Ethiopia.
She was also accused of attempting to kill her stepson. Amutenya was subsequently deported to Namibia to face the law, but was released from police custody following her arrest at the Hosea Kutako International Airport.
Her lawyer, Kadhila Amoomo, said Amutenya had not been given any documentation indicating the basis on which she had been removed from Ethiopia and arrested and detained after her arrival at the airport.
Amutenya and Haufiku divorced in Namibia in November 2020 and Haufiku was given custody of their children, subject to the mother having reasonable access to them.
Peter Haufiku said: “I am hopelessly waiting on the state to handle this case as it is supposed to. I am still finding it very difficult to get home to an empty and quiet house because of my kids’ gruesome murder.
“My surviving son is still going through so much trauma, especially when on 16 December 2022 he met the person who was trying to take his life at Bole International Airport in Ethiopia. Furthermore, I am always fearing for his life due to the threat and the freedom the perpetrator is having.”
His younger brother Tauno, as family spokesperson, said “our wounds are still fresh and our pain is aggravated by the fact that a murder accused of our young ones is walking free and even going to work as if nothing happened”.
He added: “We, Jenay and Jane’s family, are still wallowing in a pool of confusion, excruciating pain and total despair. We have a barrage of questions, worries and clarity on our government”.
Tauno told The Namibian his family cannot forgive and forget so soon.
He claimed the case is not being taken seriously.
Tauno said it is saddening to see someone who is accused of killing two children roam free, and travelling to Ethiopia.
“In a nutshell, we are pleading with our government, through relevant authorities, to bring this suspect to book to face the full wrath of the law like any other suspect,” he said.
Contacted for comment last week, the Namibian Police head of criminal investigations commissioner Lilungwe Mayumbelo, asked The Namibian to send the inquiry to the office of the inspector general of the Namibian Police, Joseph Shikongo.
However, Shikongo’s office did not respond to the questions.
Prosecutor general Martha Imalwa told The Namibian last week the matter was still under police investigation, as her office has not yet received the docket.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Amutenya – who is an employee of the Ministry of Mines – said, “I have nothing to do with whatever you are requesting.”
Her lawyer on Sunday refused to comment on the matter, citing confidentiality.
Amutenya was arrested in April 2021 upon her arrival at the Hosea Kutako International Airport.
After her arrest, Amutenya’s lawyer said she had not been given any justifiable reason for her detention in Namibia after she was returned to the country from Ethiopia.
She appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on two charges of murder and one count of attempted murder following her arrest.
Amutenya’s lawyer asked with the court to declare her arrest and detention in Namibia unlawful, and to order that she should be released from custody.
The control prosecutor at the court, Hans Thourob, at the time informed the magistrate that Amutenya had been detained in Ethiopia, but that she had not been charged in that country as she had diplomatic immunity as the spouse of a Namibian diplomat.
Thourob also said that according to information available to him the Ethiopian authorities returned Amutenya to Namibia after the Namibian government refused to waive her diplomatic immunity. However, that immunity lapsed on her arrival back in Namibia, and she was then arrested, he said.
According to Thourob, while the crimes Amutenya was accused of were committed in Ethiopia, Namibia’s courts would have the jurisdiction for her to stand trial.
She was later released from police custody, after the charges against her had been provisionally dropped.