Mother fights for daughter
After allowing a relative to raise her daughter, Paulina Puuwa Penohange the natural mother of the child, recently discovered that not only has her child’s surname and biological father’s names been changed on her birth certificate, but unbeknownst to her, the child was in hospital in a serious condition.
Twenty six years ago Penohange gave her three-year-old daughter Bertha Namunyela David to her uncle, Martin Shilengudwa and his wife Hilma Shilegudwa to raise. “Martin was the one who asked me to take care of my daughter and I agreed. I was staying at the village at that time,” Penohange said.
On the initial birth certificate her daughter was named Bertha Namunyela David, but on the new certificate has been renamed Bertha Shilengudwa. It also states that she (Penohange) and the biological father, the late Nghole David are no longer the parents of Bertha.
She said that the Shilengudwa’s did not inform her when they kicked the now 28-year-old Bertha out of their house after she fell pregnant in 2005. “What type of people are they? Why did they not tell me to come and get my child before they kicked her out?” Penohange asked. Last month Bertha fell ill and was taken to the Katutura State Hospital. “The doctors are telling me that they don’t know what is wrong with her, but will continue with the medical investigation,” Penohange said. When Informanté visited Bertha at hospital she could not move or speak. Nurses on duty said her condition has not improved since she was admitted at the beginning of last month. Hilma Shilegudwa acknowledged that Penohange is Bertha’s mother, insisting she has given them the right to change Bertha’s information on her identification documents. “If she wants to change things back, it is okay. I will gladly do it,” Hilma said. She also admitted that she asked Bertha to leave her house when she fell pregnant. “My husband wanted to know who the father of her unborn child was, but she refused to answer. He then said she had to leave the house if she won’t answer him. After she moved out we called her several times to come back, but she refused,” said Hilma.
Hilma further said she was not aware of any illness or disease that Bertha had that might have caused her to be hospitalised. “She never complained of not feeling well,” Hilma said.
Penenohange has reported a case of forgery and uttering at the Namibian police.