Inside the troubled marriage of a ‘killer mother’

The wife of the Namibian diplomat in Ethiopia allegedly killed her two children after the Windhoek High Court awarded custody to her husband five weeks ago, documents show.

16 December 2020 | Crime

STAFF REPORTER







WINDHOEK

A decade ago on 26 November 2010, family and friends congregated in Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region to witness what promised – at least from the look on the faces of Kristofina Amutenya and Petrus Haufiku – to be a lasting union.

Vows were exchanged, including the routine promise that through the good and the bad times, they would remain faithful to their marriage.

The happy couple vowed to have and to hold from that day on; for better, for worse, for richer or for poorer.

And as per God’s law, they promised in front of their onlooking families and friends that the union would hold in sickness and in health, till death do them part.

Now, in 2020, they have parted, but are both still alive. The same cannot be said for their children, however.

Nine-year-old Jenay and his sister Jane, who just turned three on 7 November, were at the centre of a bitter custodial tussle between their parents, who were divorcing because – as per Haufiku’s court submissions – Amutenya was involved in an extramarital affair.

“The Plaintiff [Haufiku] is awarded the custody and control of the minor children of the family, subject to the Defendant's [Amutenya] right of reasonable access,” the Windhoek High Court ruled on 3 November, four days before Jane’s birthday.

Spiteful

The ruling devastated Amutenya, who seemed to decide that Haufiku would not enjoy the luxury of custody either. Instead, she allegedly murdered both children last Sunday in Ethiopia, where Haufiku is a deployed as commercial attaché at the Namibian embassy.

Soccer fanatic Haufiku was out watching the English Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur when he was found out that Jenay and Jane had been strangled to death by their own mother, while his older son from a previous relationship was battling for his life after he was attacked too.

The older son survived and is stable, according to the Namibian ministry of international relations.

After a failed suicide attempt, Amutenya, a chief administrative officer at the mines ministry, was arrested.

Locked up

She appeared in court in Addis Ababa on Monday and is remanded in a local police cell.

“The mother is in good health, and according to the federal police, she apparently appeared in court, but the case has been postponed,” Emilia Mkusa, the Namibian ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent representative to the African Union, said in a statement.

“The embassy continues to provide the necessary support to the husband and the surviving son. Furthermore, the internal security measures are in place to ensure the safety of the family,” she added.

It is not clear whether Amutenya will face trial in an Ethiopian court, since there are no extradition relations between that country and Namibia.

Ethiopia is one of the countries that use death penalty as a form of punishment – including for crimes such as murder.

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