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Murder for hire convict still denies complicity

2021-11-24  Roland Routh

Murder for hire convict still denies complicity
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The wife of a City of Windhoek employee, who was brutally stoned to death in 2015, yesterday continued her denial that she was not complicit in the death of her husband.

Judge Johanna Salionga convicted Annastacia Lubinda (39) for conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the brutal death of her husband Peter Riscoh Muleke who was 36-years-old at the time of his demise.

In her judgment, she concluded that Lubinda and two co-accused, David Kondjara (40) and Donald Hindjou (31), actively participated in a conspiracy to murder Muleke.

The lifeless body of Muleke surrounded by bloody rocks was found near Penduka in Goreangab on 30 March 2015. 

The prosecution alleged Lubinda hired the men to kill her husband for a fee of N$5 000. One of their co-accused, David Matali, died in custody. Lubinda is facing a charge of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, while her co-accused are charged with murder. They were however convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.

The judge acquitted Abuid Uazeua (40) and Oviritje musician Dollam Tjitjahuma after the State conceded they failed to conclusively prove their case.

During her testimony in mitigation, Lubinda categorically denied that she hired people to kill her husband and said he was the love of her life, a caregiver of her and her children and asked how she could have been involved in his murder. 

Lubinda who has two children with the deceased, further said she could not apologise for something she did not do nor could she show contrition. The convict, whose eyes welled up with tears when she testified about her two children, said she has never seen or spoke to them since her arrest despite several attempts. “I do not know where they are, how they are doing, if they are being fed or going to school,” she said. When asked by her State funded lawyer, Milton Engelbrecht, how she feel about her conviction, she said, “I feel sad because they are putting me in prison for something I did not do. I did not kill my husband. I am denying all those allegations.” 

She added that the court made a mistake in convicting her.   The State called the cousin of the deceased, Festus Tubazumbe to testify. According to his testimony, Muleke was a caring person and a good man who had no problems with anybody. However, during cross-examination, Engelbrecht asked him if he knew about the troubles in the marriage and the claims that Muleke was violent towards Lubinda. He denied this, but conceded later that he once witnessed a scuffle between the two, but maintained that it was not violent. He further told the court that the two children of the deceased and Lubinda are being taken care of by the mother of the deceased who is 89-years-old and his older sister at a village near Katima Mulilo. The children, he said were traumatised by the offence committed, as they lost both their mother and father in one swoop. 

“Their parents disappeared in a blink of an eye and it really affected them mentally and, in their education,” he said. As the representative of the family, he said he trust the Namibian justice system and leaves the sentence to be imposed in the hands of the judge.  

Kondjara also testified in mitigation and likewise said he was convicted wrongly. While he said that someone can apologise to a family that has lost a loved one, he said one cannot show contrition for something they did not do.

The matter was postponed to 6 December when Hindjou will testify in mitigation.

Kondjara is represented by Paulus Shilongo, Hindjou by Ray Silungwe and the State by Marthino Olivier. They have been in custody since their arrest on 1 April 2015 and will remain at the section for trial awaiting inmates at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.

-rrouth@nepc.com.na

Pic: Lubinda

Caption: I’m innocent… Annastacia Lubinda denies that she was complicit in killing her husband.

Photo: Roland Routh

 


2021-11-24  Roland Routh

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