Valombola acquitted of murder guilty of homicide

WINDHOEK - Omusati businessman Maurus Valombola, 59, who is on trial for the murder of Benhard Kalimbo who was 32 at the time of his demise, was yesterday acquitted on the charge of murder, but convicted of the lesser charge of culpable homicide by Oshakati High Court judge Herman January. The judge ascertained there was not enough evidence to suggest that Valombola intended to kill Kalimbo when he bumped him with his car, but that he should have foresaw that he could cause the death of the deceased.

Valombola denied in his plea before Judge January in the Oshakati High Court that he ran Kalimbo over with his car at Okeeke village in the Omusati Region on February 6, 2013 following a scuffle between the two of them earlier that day. According to an earlier New Era report, the scuffle started at Valombola's place of business at the village and then continued in the bushes.

Valombola was accused of seriously injuring Kalimbo and leaving him unconscious in the bush where he was found by passersby later that day. Kalimbo died the same day at the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital. Valombola was arrested on February 9, 2013 after he handed himself over to the police and remained in custody after failing a bail attempt in the Windhoek High Court. Valombola has denied any wrongdoing throughout his trial and has disputed testimonies of the police, his employee and witnesses, claiming the evidence brought before court was discussed beforehand. Valombola claims the evidence was discussed in advance so that it could correlate and ensure he is incriminated and his image tarnished.

While he admitted that his family paid N$50 000 to the family of Kalimbo for damages, he vehemently denied that he bumped the deceased or that he assaulted him or that he ever was at the crime scene. The reasons for Judge January's judgement will appear in tomorrow's paper.

Valombola was represented by Pieter Greyling of Greyling & Associates in Oshakati and the State by Advocate Licius Matota. He remains in custody and the trial will resume April 23 for pre-sentencing proceedings.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia