The family of two children, who were allegedly killed by their mother over two years ago in Ethiopia, is asking why the accused is still free. They are also irked that the woman, who is divorced from the deceased children’s father, is now also fighting for half of the value of her ex-husband’s immovable properties.
Kristofina Amutenya was arrested in Ethiopia in December 2020 after being accused of murdering her two minor children, Jenay Haufiku (9) and Jane Haufiku (3) by strangling them.
Amutenya, the ex-wife of a Namibian diplomat in Ethiopia, Petrus Haufiku, is also accused of attempting to murder her stepson, who survived the ordeal in Addis Ababa.
She has resumed work in June last year.
At the time, the State provisionally dropped charges against her after Amutenya’s lawyer, Kadhila Amoomo, challenged the decision of the Namibian authorities to arrest and charge her on two counts of murder, and one count of attempted murder upon her arrival from Addis Ababa.
“We, Jenay and Jane’s family, are still wallowing in a pool of confusion, excruciating pain, and total despair. We have the barrage of questions, worries, and lack clarity from our government,” expressed a distraught Tauno Haufiku who spoke on behalf of the family.
They cited Article 6 (Chapter 3) of the Namibian constitution which states “the right to life shall be respected and protected.”
“We have lost our two young innocent lives by a Namibian Kristofina Amutenya who allegedly murdered them in Ethiopia
and attempted to murder a stepson who was
13 at the time of the incident, yet alas at a current moment, it is public knowledge that she is walking free and resumed work peacefully in Namibia,” Haufiku reacted.
Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa said
her office cannot prosecute while
investigations are ongoing.
Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi yesterday said
investigations are still ongoing. “It is a complex matter because it is a cross-border issue,” Shikwambi responded when asked why it is taking the police over two years to finalise the case. However, the family members expressed, “we can’t forgive and forget too soon, our wounds are still fresh and our pain is aggravated by the fact that the murderer accused of our young ones is walking free and even going to work as if nothing happened, this is unbelievable that this case is not taken seriously. Even abortion accused can be arrested with no bail granted in Namibia, yet a murder accused whereby a living evidence is available, walks free with no remorse either.”
Meanwhile, ambassador Sabine Böhlke-Möller at the international relations ministry said, “this matter is now in the hands of Namibia’s prosecuting authorities.”
The aggrieved family members are questioning the legal loopholes which led to Amutenya being set free.
They feel the two governments arranged for the accused’s extradition where loopholes seemingly emerged, to say Amutenya had not been given any documentation indicating on what basis she had been removed from Ethiopia, arrested, and detained after her arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport.
They also claim that the international relations ministry was informed by the Namibian embassy in Addis Ababa that the Ethiopian police had finalised investigations and submitted a report to the Ethiopian ministry of foreign affairs.
They allegedly submitted findings to the Namibian authorities who were requested to accompany the suspect in question home. “Our question, therefore, is, where are these documents and why were they not provided to the court in Namibia to justify the case?” Haufiku asked.
The family said on 16 December 2022, Haufiku, who is also the surviving son, experienced the worse trauma when he came to the realisation that the person standing right behind him, in the queue at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, was Amutenya, the same woman who allegedly tried to kill him, in December 2020.
“Our son had to go through counselling and therapy throughout his December holiday in Namibia. It is saddening to see someone who killed two kids and attempted to kill the third one free to travel even to come back to Ethiopia where she committed such a horrific incident, our authorities must take the issue seriously and bring that murderer to justice like any murderer,” the family demanded.
The family said while they are still finding it difficult to understand the killing of their beloved “little souls”, Amutenya, through her lawyer, is fighting for properties from her ex-husband. They say they fail to understand with which capacity she is doing so as the divorce was finalised back in November 2020 and a court order was issued then.
“She wants every spoon, knife, and pot. Everything, including village houses, of which she never added a penny. She values pots and plates more than the lives of the children she killed. Our brother has no interest or intention to keep her clothes and books, she was requested to pick up her belongings back in 2021. All government authorities and traditional authorities were informed but because she thinks that she is above the law, she did not show up,” the family alleges.
Speaking from Addis over the weekend, the ex-husband said, “the furniture she listed on that annexure, I told her several times that I am not interested in any of the above furniture (even though I am the one who bought them such as beds, sofas and power generators, except pots, cups, spoons). I told her as well several times during the divorce to take everything. She was even requested in August 2021 to come and pick up the furniture and her belongings in Windhoek. My family and I arranged everything including police officers (for security) and she just cancelled at the last minute.”
Amutenya who resumed work with the mines and energy ministry refused to comment yesterday.
“What do you want? This is the ministry of mines and energy. This can only be an official call,” she said before she abruptly ended the call. At the time of going to print, her lawyer
did not provide comment.
On 14 November 2022, Amoomo, on Amutenya’s instructions, informed the ex-husband that their client has no interest in retaining ownership of the immovable property and elects to receive payment from him equivalent to half the value of the property as far as it is reflected in the attached property valuation. Haufiku was informed that their client also expects reasonable compensation for the value of the properties situated in Ongha Village, as well as reasonable compensation raking into millions of dollars for half the value of the monies claimed from the insurance relating to the Amarok bakkie in view that the parties have a joint estate.
Haufiku said he is yet to respond to her demands through his lawyer.