A Kavango East resident convicted of murdering his wife and six-year-old son by shooting each of them in the head has been sentenced to life imprisonment at the end of his trial in the Oshakati High Court.
The crimes that Vensinlaus Mbangu Mutero (53) committed when he killed his wife and son were extremely serious, and more so since it was committed in a domestic context, judge Duard Kesslau said during Mutero’s sentencing on Thursday.
Kesslau said when Mutero murdered his son by shooting him in the head with a pistol, he had already killed his wife, and for that reason the second murder was even more reprehensible.
“Both these victims were murdered by the person who was supposed to protect them from harm,” the judge noted.
He said Mutero did not show any remorse at any stage of his trial, and is still denying that he intended to kill his two victims, while referring to their deaths as “an accident”.
Kesslau found Mutero guilty on two counts of murder, both committed with a direct intention to kill, in October last year.
He found that there was overwhelming evidence proving Mutero murdered his wife, Rosalia Shitshoni (33), and their son Alexius Mutero (6) at Ndiyona, a village in the Kavango East region, during the evening of 25 September 2015.
During his trial, Mutero said he and his wife had been involved in an argument which became physical, and during this she removed his pistol from his pocket.
He said both of them were holding on to the firearm when a shot went off and Shitshoni fell to the ground.
He said he picked up the gun and left the scene with his vehicle to look for assistance.
Mutero said after he stopped his vehicle when he encountered a cousin of his wife and her husband, a crowd began to gather around him.
He said he got scared and fired two shots in the direction he intended to go “to clear the way”.
The second of those shots struck his son.
However, in a statement Mutero made to a police officer after his arrest, and in a confession made to a magistrate, he recounted he was suspecting that his wife was involved in a relationship with another man.
He said on the evening in question he found Shitshoni near a bar where he had seen the car of the other man parked, and he was angry and slapped her.
A physical fight ensued between the two of them, and when she then started to run away, he pulled out his pistol and shot at her twice, he said in his statement to a police officer.
He also told the police officer and a magistrate that he had shot his son too after shooting his wife.
Witnesses told the court Alexius was approaching his father when Mutero aimed the pistol at him and shot him.
According to autopsy reports provided to the court, Shitshoni was shot twice in the head. Alexius was shot in the head once.
Mutero spent about three and a half years in custody after being arrested.
He ran a brickmaking business before his arrest, the court was informed.
Kesslau sentenced him to 21 years’ imprisonment for the murder of Shitshoni and to life imprisonment for the murder of Alexius.
He also declared Mutero unfit to possess a firearm for a period of two years after his eventual release from prison.
In terms of Namibian law, someone sentenced to life imprisonment becomes eligible for release after serving a period of 25 years.
State advocate Victoria Shigwedha prosecuted.
Mutero was represented by legal aid lawyer Absalom Shiningayamwe.
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