A first-time mother is having trouble coming to terms with the events leading to the biological father of her six-month old baby daughter allegedly strangling her to death, with accusations of witchcraft featuring prominently in the saga.
Paulina Shigwedha claims she does not know what could have triggered her baby’s father into allegedly committing the horrendous crime that landed him behind bars on Sunday, as the pair had never argued before.
“It does not make sense because we’ve never quarrelled about the baby, or anything, for that matter. He always supported the child. He bought her food and clothes and he was always very good with our baby,” Shigwedha said.
Following post mortem results that indicated that the baby, Sepiso Johanna Nyambe, died from lack of oxygen, the Oshakati Police formally charged the baby’s father, identified as Newton Liswani Nyambe, with murder.
According to Shigwedha, she and her baby were lying in bed on the tragic Sunday when Nyambe suddenly grabbed their daughter’s arm and twisted it.
“I thought he was playing with her, so I left them alone. When I came back into the room, I found his knee pressed against my baby’s neck while his arms were on her stomach.
“He was pressing so hard that I think he broke her ribs. Soon after, she started bleeding… I’m not sure if she was dead or alive at that stage,” Shigwedha said.
Shigwedha claims that when she started crying, her neighbours came running over to her house and called the police.
“At some point, the baby’s clothes were removed. My neighbours brought along a bottle of cold water from their house and poured it on my baby.
“They locked me out of the house because they said my presence would kill the baby,” Shigwedha recalls.
When the police arrived at the crime scene, Nyambe allegedly had two fingers shoved down his baby’s throat.
“Even after the police begged him, he (Nyambe) refused to remove his fingers because he believed the baby would die if he did. Even when we drove to the hospital, he never once removed his fingers from her throat,” she said.
Medical staff declared Sepiso Nyambe dead on arrival at the Oshakati State Hospital.
“No normal person will kill his baby, and the father loved his daughter very, very much. Something happened that I could not understand. I think it is witchcraft,” Shigwedha said.
The first results of the post mortem by Dr Yuriva Vasin stated pneumonia as the reason for the baby’s death.
However, a second post mortem declared those results unfounded.
Police Commander in the Oshana Region, Deputy Commissioner Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa, said police have opened a murder case following the results of the second post mortem.
“The doctor did another post mortem this morning, and the results were different from the first one. It was discovered that the baby actually died from asphyxia, which means that the baby lacked oxygen in the lungs,” Kashihakumwa said on Tuesday.
He added that the post mortem result also confirmed the baby girl had a broken rib.