By Moses Magadza
Scores of mourners gathered in Lusaka, Zambia, for the burial of a University of Namibia student, who was violently killed by a teenage thief in Katutura, could not believe their ears when the slain student’s father publicly forgave his son’s killer and pledged to set up a foundation to help Katutura youths.
In a stirring graveside speech in the Zambian capital on Saturday, Bernard Mwange said he had decided to forgive the 16-year-old thief that confessed to killing his son, saying he was convinced his late son, a committed Christian, would have wished things done that way.
A source that attended the burial quoted Mwange, a businessman who is also a Christian, as saying he would approach Namibian authorities with a view of setting up a foundation to give hope to poverty-stricken youths in Katutura.
Mwange was reportedly full of praise for his son, who was a third-year Bachelor of Business Administration student.
“He said his son’s life was symbolic of a true Christian and cited parts of the Bible that enjoin people to forgive those who trespass against them before they can hope to be forgiven by God. He said the foundation will be called the Mwelwa Mwange Foundation but did not say how soon he plans to set it up,” said a source.
Mwelwa died after being stabbed while chasing a teenage robber who had snatched a cellphone from a fellow Unam student two weeks ago.
The 24-year-old Zambian’s death prompted an outpouring of grief at the university, which draws students from all over Africa and beyond.
The murdered student’s father’s olive branch came as it emerged that his son was gravely concerned about growing violent crime in Katutura and kept telling his colleagues to be careful in the suburb.
“He would always tell us about crime and Katutura and he once told me: ‘Here you can be killed for just a cellphone’,” Happy Mulolani, a Unam student from Zambia, said.