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Mwilima, health ministry N$18m negotiation fails

2022-08-17  Maria Amakali

Mwilima, health ministry N$18m negotiation fails

Negotiations meant to settle the N$18 million suit, filed by academic Fred Mwilima, whose wife was shot and killed by her subordinate while on duty, have failed. 

The case was referred for mediation to allow the parties, through a mediator, to see if they can reach a settlement in their matter.

 However, according to the mediation report, Mwilima, the ministry of health and Vicmac Security Services failed to reach a consensus in the matter.

The mediation, which was conducted by Damoline Mukoro on 5 and 12 July, “could not be finalised due to sufficient documents not having been shared with the plaintiffs (Mwilima and family) and the parties thus did not have sufficient information to proceed with the mediation,” reads the mediation report.

The matter has returned before High Court Judge Eileen Rakow for the merits of the case to be heard. 

The parties have decided that Mwilima should file his witness statements on or before 6 October – and the health ministry and Vicmac Security should follow suit on 13 October.

The case has been postponed to 8 November for a pre-trial conference. 

Mwilima filed an N$18 million lawsuit last year against the health ministry, stating they failed to protect his wife Sarah Mwilima while on duty. 

In addition, they failed to act when the alleged killer displayed mental illness, dating back to 2015 – four years before the shooting incident. 

As a result of his wife’s death, the family has suffered emotionally and financially. 

Sarah, who was a management unit director at the health ministry under the Global Fund, died after her subordinate Simataa Simasiku charged into her office and allegedly shot her three times on 28 January 2019. 

Sarah was 51 at the time of her death.

According to Simasiku’s indictment, he went to his workplace on the second floor of the City Centre building, armed with a pistol and seven live rounds. 

Thereafter, he went to the eighth floor, where Sarah and Ester Nepolo had their offices, and once there fired at least three to four shots at Sarah that struck her in the chest, neck and arm, causing her to die on the scene due to the injuries sustained from the gunshots, it is stated.

He then fired one shot at Nepolo, which struck her in the neck, and he then left the scene, collected his child at daycare and took the child to his residence, the indictment further reads.

Nepolo survived the shooting. 

It is further stated Simasiku then drove to a police station, where he reported the shooting and handed his firearm and its licence, holster and two bullets to the police. 

Simasiku, however, cannot be held liable for the shooting after two psychiatrists diagnosed him as being schizophrenic, and he was found unfit to be tried.

The ministry, which is opposing the suit, said they were not aware of Simasiku’s mental illness or when it may have developed. 

Thus, they cannot be held liable for the tragic incident.


2022-08-17  Maria Amakali

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