Oshakati High Court Judge Herman January granted the office of the prosecutor general leave to appeal the acquittal on murder and conviction on the culpable homicide of Omusati businessman Maurus Valombola.
The 62-year-old Valombola was acquitted on murder but convicted on the lesser charge of culpable homicide for fatally bumping 32-year-old Benhard Kalimbo in 2013 at Okeeke village in the Omusati region.
The State was also granted leave to appeal the sentence of three years imprisonment. Valombola is currently free after he qualified for the President’s amnesty of prisoners on Independence Day. The State lodged the appeal late, but Judge January felt gracious and also granted them condonation for the late filing.
According to them, the judge was wrong when he concluded that Valombola did not intend to murder Kalimbo when he hit him with his motor vehicle. The judge, however, refused the State leave to appeal the acquittal of Valombola on a charge of discharging a firearm in public and the order of non-forfeiture of his vehicle. Valombola, who counter-appealed his conviction of culpable homicide, on the other hand, was also refused leave to appeal to the country’s highest court.
The matter will now be heard in the Supreme Court in six to eight months. Judge January found that Valombola hit Kalimbo with his vehicle after deliberately pursuing him on 6 February 2013 at Okeeke, following a scuffle between the two earlier that day. Kalimbo died of the injuries he sustained the next day.
According to the judge, Valombola used the motor vehicle as a weapon or an instrument to cause injury.
“He was negligent to a high degree and it is therefore inevitable that he should be sentenced to direct imprisonment.” He further said the crime is not only unlawful and negligent to a high degree but also unconstitutional as the Namibian Constitution protects the sanctity of life and Valombola as a leader should know how to act in accordance with the constitution. Judge January further said that this was a crime of senseless violence against the person of another.
Valombola was represented by Pieter Greyling of Greyling & Associates in Oshakati and the State by Advocate Lucius Matota.