An application for leave to appeal against a 34-year sentence by a man who hacked his girlfriend to death with a panga in 2020 was refused by the Oshakati High Court.
Kaita Bruno Kaita (26), who was convicted of viciously murdering his girlfriend Nauta Amalia Munyenga (36) with a panga, upon his own admission, wanted the Court to grant him leave to appeal his sentence which he deemed as “harsh and shockingly inappropriate for a first offender”.
In his appeal Kaita said the judge failed to consider that he pleaded guilty and did not waste the court’s time.
In addition, he said, the court over-emphasised the seriousness and prevalence of the offence at the expense of his personal circumstances, overlooked the element of mercy and punished him to the point of breaking him, which amounts to cruel and inhuman treatment.
Kaita was convicted for killing his girlfriend Munyenga. The prosecution alleged that Kaita and Munyenga had a heated quarrel that turned violent on their way home from the cuca shops.
Upon entering the house Kaita picked up a panga, rushed to the bedroom where Munyenga was and he brutally attacked her.
He struck her several times on the neck and back of her head with the deadly weapon.
In her ruling, Judge Johanna Salionga said Kaita’s personal circumstances and his youthfulness were considered and evaluated at length.
But it was found that Kaita had a history of violence perpetrated against his now-deceased girlfriend.
She said that according to the testimony of the mother of the deceased, the accused was very abusive towards her daughter.
The judge further said that a witness testified about how Kaita first assaulted Munyenga with sticks and she intervened after which he apologized and promised never to assault her again.
Judge Salionga said she knows that the sentence should be blended with a measure of mercy but stated that Kaita did not apologise to the family of the deceased.
“He did not even give the reason why he callously murdered the deceased,” said Salionga.
According to the judge, the prevalence of domestic violence and the compelling interest of society to combat it, evidenced by recent legislation to that effect, requires that domestic violence should be regarded as an aggravating factor when imposing sentence.
The sentence meted out in this instance is well-balanced between the interest of the accused and that of society, the judge said before she dismissed the application.