Ex-soldier arrested for impregnating daughter

By Eliaser Ndeyanale at Osisia

THE POLICE in Omusati region have arrested a 61-year-old man for allegedly impregnating his 17-year-old daughter. The reported victim, whose name is known to Confidente, is a Grade 7 pupil and had according to the police been sexually violated by her biological father since last December.

The suspect, a retired Namibia Defence Force soldier, was arrested at his house on Friday night on the eve of his wedding the following day. He was due to get married last Saturday to his longtime girlfriend – name known – who lived with him at their house at Omufitu Wenkete.

The wedding was due to take place at Osisia Catholic church about 20km from Outapi-Ruacana road to the north before it was hastily cancelled following the arrest of the suspect, whom Confidente will not name for the sake of protecting the reported victim.

Speaking to the alleged incest victim’s family in Outapi constituency on Saturday, a female relative who was familiar with recent developments, said she had not previously known that the learner was pregnant. She had, however, heard rumours from her neighbours.

“One day at around eight or nine [o’clock] in the morning, I asked her, ‘I understand you are pregnant, who is the father?’ She answered me that she did not know that she was pregnant. I asked her to lay on a bed naked so that my grandmother can feel her tummy to establish whether she was indeed pregnant or not.

“When she felt her, my grandmother said she (the victim) was pregnant … I also touched her and I could feel it. I asked her who had impregnated her. She then said it was her father.” The relative added that the girl had previously reported at school that her father had tried to have sex with her.

“I suspect that when she reported that her father wanted to sleep with her, he had already done so. I then asked her: ‘How many times did your father have sex with you?’ She said it happened numerous times. “I asked again, ‘When did he start?’

“‘It was from December last year during a wedding ceremony that took place at our house.’ I put a question again, ‘How old is the pregnancy?’ She responded it was from January.

“I also wanted to know if she was promised or given something to lure her into this. She answered he would give her money, like N$50, when she went to sport events, because she plays soccer and she runs in athletics,” the relative explained.

She said that one day she received a call from the victim’s teachers, saying the child had told them the whole story. The teachers advised the relative to take the victim to the clinic and report back to them. She then took the girl to hospital last Thursday.

“Today (Saturday) we received a report that [the father] has been arrested,” she added.

Teachers at the school in question told Confidente that the learner had eventually opened up about the problem at home and spoke to them about her father after they observed a notable drop in her participation in class.

“This had forced one of her teachers to ask her what was wrong. She concealed [the problem]. After one or two days she just decided to go and inform the teacher what was going on. She said sometimes the father would call her to the nearby bushes and give her small monies, like N$50 when they are done.”

The teacher said the girl has since been getting counseling from social workers at the department of Woman and Child Protection.

Speaking from the church where the suspect was set to get married on Saturday, Ambrosius Shalumbu, a deacon in the Catholic Church, who would have graced the wedding, said he received a call from the police at around 22h00 on Friday night to notify him that the wedding could not proceed on Saturday, as they had arrested the groom for impregnating his daughter.

Asked why the suspect was granted permission to get married when he is accused of having impregnated her daughter, Shalumbu said he only heard about it on Saturday.

“Church procedures dictate that those who want to get married register their wedding three months prior to the wedding, [to be] scrutinised by the church council if there is anything untoward that they have done which they need to repent.

“If the church council finds out that there is something untoward, the council has to discuss it. If there is nothing the wedding is allowed to go ahead … we also give them a marriage counseling order. We also tell them more about the challenges in marriages.

“Until now, I have not received any information regarding this issue from anyone in the church council or congregation. That’s why I couldn’t pick it up until on the eve of his wedding when I received a call from the police that the wedding will not take place. He has been arrested,” the deacon confirmed.

Nampol spokesperson Inspector Linekela Shikongo said the incest-accused man appeared in Outapi Magistrates Court on Monday where he was denied bail.