'I forgive her killer'
Neighbours, aunts, her grandparents and mother have been left broken by nine-year-old Cheryl Avihe Ujaha's abduction, murder and maiming.
30 August 2018 | Crime
“I hold no grudges against that man or whoever it is; I will forgive him completely. I would like to have a chat with him, if he is found. I work in prison to help prisoners rehabilitate,” he said.
This past Friday, a day before her disappearance, Cheryl proudly showed off her school report to Kaimu. She had done exceptionally well.
He was not surprised, as she was a very intelligent girl.
“She was smart… she was certainly not the type who would get into a car if it was not someone who knew her very well,” he remarked, as he fiddled with a plastic bag, as an immense sadness filled the family home.
Kaimu is a pastor at El Shaddai Ministries and Cheryl used to sing in the church, on occasion, during Sunday services.
Her gruesome abduction and murder has ripped the heart of a nation to shreds, as many continue to vent their anger, amid calls for a return of the death penalty on social media.
Cheryl's family had huge dreams for her future.
But those dreams have been laid waste by an evil in our midst - an evil that abducted and killed a child, and dumped her with missing body parts earlier this week. She was partially cooked.
During the search for Cheryl's grandparents' house yesterday, Namibian Sun encounters groups of little girls playing. This is what little girls do; they play, they are innocent and they trust; even the monsters.
Mourners fill up the pink house in Omongo Street, Wanaheda, where Cheryl spent her carefree days.
Cheryl's mother, Sylvia Kaimu, and her relatives are seated while mourners gather to encourage the family.
Her aunties sob uncontrollably, as they chant “why, why, why”, while Cheryl's grandmother consoles them, saying “you must stay strong for us”.
“If you cry like this then we will break. We will not be able to carry this burden.”
Sylvia is covered with a pink flower-adorned fleece blanket and rocks back and forth - perhaps in an attempt to console herself.
Her little girl was a stubborn young lady.
“She played cricket, but she was always playful, ready to play any kind of game with her friends,” said Sylvia.
Her daughter was a very responsible child and promised her mother she would finish school and buy them a house and a car, so they could stay in a better neighbourhood.
A neighbour, Jessica Kazandjanja, who has lived next-door for years, said Cheryl was not a child who roamed far from home.
“Even her mother was so protective of her and would always call her if she was too quiet,” she said.
Kazandjanja said Cheryl had literally grown up before her eyes and was strong-willed. She said she is now haunted by her friendly, innocent face.
“I used to help her mother when she was a baby; you know those late night cries of a three-month-old baby. I am very hurt. It can happen to any child. I am so shocked. I sat inside my house the entire day yesterday to digest this shock. And if I look at her mother, it hurts me even more. I do not know if I can recover from this shock, ever,” Kazandjanja added.