Family finds closure as refugee Commissioner is convicted of murder

Eba Kandovazu

THE family of a young man who was shot twice in the head by Home Affairs Ministry Refugees Commissioner Likius Valombola in 2018 has welcomed the high court’s decision yesterday to convict Valombola, saying that Justice is served.

Speaking to the Windhoek Observer, Helao Ndjaba’s brother Lameck Ndjaba said that the family is finally a step closer to finding closure, as they wait in anticipation for the sentencing of Valombola, who was previously found not guilty of discharging a firearm in public. The deceased, aged 25 was a student leader, serving on the Executive body of the Namibia National student’s organization(Nanso).

Judge Claudia Claasen convicted Valombola, aged 57.

The murder incident happened in Windhoek’s Ombili settlement in 2018. Valombola’s N$ 15000 bail was subsequently revoked yesterday after his conviction. He is currently in police custody pending his sentence.Ndjaba was comatosed before he died days later.

His younger brother Lameck describes him as a dedicated young man who had a bright future ahead. Helao was studying Computer Science at the International University of Management, according to his brother.

“He was also a businessman. My brother was a hardworking man. His son is now four years old. We were five siblings but now we are only four. We are indeed grateful for the judgment. We can only hope that Valombola gets a sentence that would allow him to rehabilitate. He is still not remorseful and has not apologized officially to us. He still feels he was not in the wrong,”Lameck said.

According to Lameck, the family has already forgiven Valombola for his actions. Valombola, during the trial pleaded not guilty to the charges and instead said he fired two warning shots after his car was approached by three people. He was with his wife and son in the car, adding that he feared for his life.

“I understand we all make mistakes, but he needs to get rehabilitated because this is someone that shot a person, went home to sleep and did not even bother to call the police. We certainly hope he does not get a fine. It is simply not right. A custodial sentence would be befitting, to allow for rehabilitation. I do not care how many years he gets as long as he gets rehabilitation. There is obviously something wrong with him for him to have reacted like that,”Lameck said.

Home Affairs Spokesperson Margaret Kalo says the Ministry will not comment pending the outcome of the sentence and the sensitivity of the matter.

Valombola was still attending work at the ministry until his conviction.

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