“He called my name and blacked out.”
By Moses Magadza
A University of Namibia student died after being stabbed while chasing a teenage robber who had snatched a cellphone from a fellow Unam student on Friday evening in Katutura.
The university has been plunged into mourning following the death of 24-year-old Zambian Mwelwa Mwange, who was a third-year Bachelor of Business Administration student.
Utaara Hoveka, Unam’s Pu-blic Relations Officer, yesterday summed up the university’s anguish following Mwelwa’s tragic death.
“We are devastated. It is regrettable that a young and promising student’s life had to be cut short in such a horrific manner. The university extends its sincere condolences to the bereaved family and friends,” he said.
Nigel Mukwaira, a Unam student and close friend of the late Mwelwa who drove him to hospital after the fatal stabbing, was yesterday still trying to come to terms with the incident.
“I got to the scene shortly after he was stabbed. He called my name once and blacked out. With the help of a fellow student with whom he had run after the thief, I put him into my car and drove him to Katutura Hospital where a doctor tried in vain to resuscitate him,” he said.
Mukwaira said Mwelwa was one of Unam students who attended a gospel show at Restoration Ministries in Katutura on Friday evening. After the show he and the other students went to Miami Service Station to board a bus to the university.
He quoted eyewitnesses as saying when the students were about to board the bus, a “juvenile” thief grabbed a cellphone from a Unam female student.
Mwelwa and another male student gave chase for about 800 metres until the thief ran into a crowd of local youths.
He said some of the youths grabbed Mwelwa, while others chased back his colleague.
“They dragged Mwelwa for a few metres, stabbed him in the neck and back and fled,” he said.
On Sunday, scores of grieving Unam students thronged Jesus Centre in Katutura where Mwelwa was a member.
Pastor Goroh Haruna of the church paid glowing, emotional tribute to the late student, saying earth’s loss was Heaven’s gain.
“He was a cheerful, committed Christian who was full of plans. We know where he is now: at Jesus’ side. He was always encouraging others and touched many people during his lifetime. It is not the length of your life, but its quality that matters,” he said.
Some students were also full of praise for Mwelwa, saying he was an ever-smiling, pleasant young man. They said he was a familiar sight along the corridors of Unam, where – always with Bible in hand – he spent time with fellow students in cheerful banter.
Police yesterday announced that a 16-year-old boy, one of seven other juveniles involved in the murder, had been arrested and now faces a charge of robbery and murder.
Sergeant Stephan Nuuyi of the Namibian Police said police had recovered the late Mwelwa’s wristwatch but were keen to lay their hands on the other suspects.
He confirmed that Mwelwa was stabbed twice in the neck and once in the back.
Mwelwa’s father, his uncle and two other relatives flew into Windhoek yesterday. Hoveka said the university would help with transporting the body to Zambia for burial.
A memorial service for the slain student is also planned at his church in Katutura.