Namibia: Traditional Trial for Councillor in Fatal Hit-and-Run Case

OKAKU councillor Gerson Kapenda will appear before the Uukwambi Traditional Court for allegedly hitting musician Gabriel Emvula with his official vehicle last week, causing his death.

Emvula's uncle Jason Emvula this week said the family has approached the traditional authority so that Kapenda's case could be heard in the Traditional Court at Uukwangula.

The uncle could not provide a court date.

He said Kapenda's family met with his family at Emvula's wake and attended the musician's funeral on Monday.

"I cannot say more about the case, because it is now in the hands of the traditional authority," he said.

A senior traditional councillor within the Uukwambi Traditional Authority yesterday said Oshiwambo customs dictate that a person who unintentionally killed another is compelled to pay his family 15 cows or N$22 500.

Kapenda was arrested on Tuesday last week in connection with the incident, which took place at Oshikuku in the Omusati region.

Omusati regional commander commissioner Titus Shikongo in the police's crime report yesterday said Kapenda hit Emvula with his car's mirror at around 21h00 at Oshikuku and drove off.

Emvula sustained serious injuries and died instantly.

Kapenda, who is also the chairperson of the Oshana Regional Council, was granted bail of N$10 000 when he appeared before magistrate Toini Shilongo in the Oshakati Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

Kapenda is charged with, among others, culpable homicide, negligence, and reckless driving.

He is expected to appear in the Oshakati Magistrate's Court again on 5 July.

Emvula is well known for his hits 'Kolutenda' and 'Omawawa'.

Kapenda yesterday refused to comment on the matter.

He is not the first Swapo politician to fatally injure a pedestrian.

In April 2017 the Oshikoto police opened a case of culpable homicide against former Ohangwena governor Usko Nghaamwa after pedestrian Petrus Iyambo was killed at the Onankali village in the Oshikoto region.

In 2014, former minister of regional and local government, housing and rural development, Charles Namoloh, allegedly ran over a three-year-old child at a village in the Ohangwena region.

The minister at the time said the toddler appeared from "nowhere".

The accident took place along the Oshikango-Edundja road near Onamhinda village.

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