Trio in court for murder in Zambezi

14 Jul 2015 14:30pm
KATIMA MULILO, 14 JUL (NAMPA) – Three men appeared in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday in connection with the robbing and murder of Andre Christian Meier at the Lianshulu village in the Zambezi Region.
The three men – Walter Lwendo Lupalezwi, 34; Ndozi Ndozi, 21; and Harris Sijiwa, 29 – appeared before Magistrate Karl Muyeghu on two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, indecent exposure, kidnapping and murder.
Muyeghu on Tuesday remanded the trio back into the custody of the Katima Mulilo Police after postponing the matter to 19 October 2015 for further police investigations and for the accused to obtain legal representation as requested by them after their rights were explained.
The men all stand accused of killing Meier, 42, who they also robbed of N.dollars 13 000; Botswana Pula 300; South African Rand 200; two iPhones; a laptop; camera; and other items.
On the indecent exposure charge, the men, who hail from the Lianshulu and Makanga, areas are accused of indecently undressing Meier’s 29-year-old girlfriend, a Swiss national, with the intention of raping her.
The couple was attacked while camping in the bushes at Lianshulu.
On Tuesday, shortly before the trio were taken to court, Zambezi Regional Police Commander, Boniface Mukendwa told journalists that Lupalezwi, who was arrested on Saturday, was out on N.dollars 5 000 bail for another case.
Mukendwa, who applauded the men and women in uniform for the swift successful arrest of the accused, said Lupalezwi and Ndozi are related to each other and were both found in possession of some of the stolen items, while Sijiwa is an accomplice in the crime as his vehicle was used as a getaway car.
Lupalezwi was also found with blood-soaked clothes and one pair of shoes matching tracks found at the crime scene.
The police have yet to recover the stolen money.
Investigators are also hot on the heels of a fourth suspect who escaped arrest on Monday evening. This suspect is on the run with his wife and they are believed to be to be in possession of the stolen laptop and one iPhone mobile phone.
“The police officers spent sleepless nights using their skills and tactics to bring the criminals to book. It is my message to all that the Zambezi Region has no hiding place for criminals such as these men,” Mukendwa said.
The couple was apparently asleep when two men wearing balaclavas and armed with knives tore open and gained entry to the tent they were sleeping in and kidnapped them between 01h30 and 02h00.
The robbers tied them up and ordered them into their vehicle, which later got stuck in the thick bush. The accused persons then started searching the vehicle and found cash and other items.
However, before escaping on foot, one of the robbers pulled the woman from the vehicle in an attempt to rape her but Meier managed to free himself and defended her, and in the process a fight ensued between the men.
During the fight, Meier was stabbed five times in the stomach, chest and back and when the robbers saw he was getting weak, they ran off.
The woman only managed to find help shortly after 06h00, when she unknowingly walked into the camp of the Namibian Special Field Force in the area.