WINDHOEK – A clearly broken Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, along with other political leaders could barely hold back tears yesterday as they wept and shared words of comfort with the distraught mother of the nine-year-old Cheryl Avihe Ujaha whose dismembered body was discovered in a riverbed of Katutura on Monday morning.
Other leaders descending on the family home in Wanaheda in Katutura were leader of the opposition in parliament McHenry Venaani, Khomas Regional Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua, Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala and Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua.
Many of the leaders wept uncontrollably as the nation digests one of the most horrifying episodes in recent memory.
Many leaders embraced Cheryl’s mother Sylvia Pekakarua Kaimu. Their weeping eventually got everyone emotional in the room where the bereaved mother sat. “Omuatje uandje (oh my child),” cried the mother while comforted by her elderly mother Nonnie Kaimu.
Kuungongelwa-Amadhila visited the house of late Cheryl to convey her condolences to the mother and her extended family. Also accompanying her to the house in Wanaheda was Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare Lucia Witbooi.
“We know that you bear the brunt of this pain and there is nothing we will do or say that will make the pain any less. But we want you to know we are supportive and share your pain and your loss,” the grief-stricken PM said.
“We also want you to know, that as your leaders we will continue to work hard to make our country a safer place for our people and to make sure that whoever did this is brought to account. We pray to God to comfort you and give your strength during this very difficult period of mourning.”
The PM assured the family that as leaders they too are distressed that children and vulnerable members of society continue to be subjected to brutality of untold proportions of the kind that Cheryl was subjected to.
Venaani said Ujaha’s death “indicts all men from my level, lower and upper level, any men who slaps a girl, girlfriend, sister, who twist her arm, pushes a woman, who says derogatory words to a woman because in every society, a society that is respectable beholds a generation were the strong protect the vulnerable.”
“Death is common in life but what is not common is the heinous crime. Who buries a child with intestine outside the body, and with body parts dismembered. What has she done to deserve such a death in the prime of her years,” he asked.
Ujaha’s dismembered body was discovered on Tuesday morning at around 07h30 in a riverbed near Staanvas in Katutura. Her one foot, ribs and neck were still missing. Police allege Ujaha’s body seems to have been boiled in hot water before being dumped at the scene.
Ujaha, a Grade 3 pupil at Gammas Primary School in Khomasdal, was last seen on Sunday in Clemens Kapuuo Street, not too far from her house.
By yesterday afternoon Khomas Regional Police Crime Investigation Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Abner Agas told New Era that no suspect was arrested regarding the murder.
Agas said that the man who transported Ujaha to school, who was brought in for questioning, was released the same day on Tuesday.
Ujaha’s aunt Batseba Kaimu-Hengari added that the family is unable at the stage to give the exact date of the burial or programmes as there are body parts that are still missing. Kaimu-Hengari said the family will have a meeting to put their heads together and thereafter share the programme.