29 August 2018

Namibia: Driver Questioned in Girl's Brutal Killing

Photo: The Namibian
A FAMILY'S SORROW ... Avihe Cheryl Ujaha's grandmother, Susanna Kaimu (above left), at the Katutura multi-purpose centre on Friday after the march in memory of her grandchild. Mother of deceased nine- year-old Avihe, Pekakarua Sylvia Kaimu (above right), could not hold back her tears as she watched her daughter's casket being lowered into the grave at the Pionierspark Cemetery in Windhoek on Saturday.

A man who transported to school Cheryl Avihe Ujaha, the murdered nine-year-old girl whose dismembered body was gruesomely discovered in Katutura yesterday, is under police questioning.

Khomas Regional Police Crime Investigation Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Abner Agas was however quick to state that the unidentified driver was not a suspect, as of last night.

"They (police) are still questioning him and if they don't find any link he will be released," Agas told New Era late yesterday.

More people - including neighbours and friends - were also being interviewed as police attempt to nail down whoever was responsible for the heinous act that has shaken the nation to the core.

Agas said interrogations were being conducted in the field and at police stations.

The mutilated body of Ujaha was discovered yesterday morning at around 07h30 in a riverbed near Staanvas in Katutura - after the family had indicated over the weekend that their daughter had gone missing.

Ujaha, a Grade 3 learner at Gammams Primary School in Khomasdal, was last seen on Sunday in Clemence Kapuuo Street, not too far from her house. Her family said she wanted to pursue a career in teaching.

Her aunt, Batseba Kaimu Hengari, who also doubled as her school principal at Gammams Primary School, said her niece dreamt of purchasing her mother a car and a house.

That dream came crashing down over the weekend when she, in the most chilling fashion, was murdered.

Her dismembered body was found with legs and arms missing, and her head cut off. Her one foot, ribs and neck were still missing as police loaded her scattered remains into a vehicle yesterday.

According to Hengari, she last spoke to Ujaha on Sunday afternoon after church when she (Hengari) called her sister (Ujaha's mother) who was supposed to cook her lunch.

"She [Ujaha] answered the call and informed me that her mother was not around and she had not prepared the meal," Hengari narrated sadly.

"Then in the evening at around 19h00 my sister called me to find out, since I was the last person who spoke to Avihe, if I picked her up as I usually do. She initially thought I was kidding and after I repeatedly said I didn't pick her up, we started to communicate with the rest of the family."

It was at this stage that the family got alarmed and started hoping and praying for the girl's safe return home. They sent out captioned photos on WhatsApp groups with a request to help trace her.

As the word spread yesterday that a body of a minor was discovered, the family went to the mortuary - and they identified the body which turned out to be hers.

Family members flocked and gathered at the deceased grandparents in Wanaheda where the mood was sombre. Ujaha's mother Sylvia Pekaa sat in disbelief as other members around her tearfully mourned in deep grief.

"She was a smart learner who always got diplomas. She was a girl of her own. She was so determined. I used to go with her to the farm and stay with her and most of the time she would tell me: 'I am going to work hard and I am going to buy a car and house in town for my mother.' That was her dream. She wanted to become a teacher," said Hengari.

"A proper forensic investigation will detect other body parts that are missing," stated a source close to the investigation.

Khomas regional commander Sylvanus Nghishidimbwa said Ujaha's body was dumped at the path which people use. "If the body was dumped there on Monday then it could have been discovered [that very day]. We suspect it was dumped there last night [Monday] that is why it was found this morning," Nghishidimbwa said.

Deputy Commissioner Agas appealed for information from the public that can lead to the arrest of the suspect. Agas said the identity of the informant would be treated with confidentiality.

--- Caption (Ujaha)

---- Caption (Use "Cheryl" photos)

2018-08-29 09:08:10 2 hours ago

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