NTTU accuses police of threats and intimidation

06 May 2014 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 06 MAY (NAMPA) – The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) has vowed to hold a ‘peaceful countrywide strike, but is concerned about threats allegedly being made by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) on a daily basis.
NTTU president Werner Januarie told Nampa on Tuesday that members of his union are under constant threat from high and low- ranking police officers in connection with the strike, slated for 16 June 2014.
“They (police) threaten us, and we take their threats very seriously. We, in turn, put it to them to make sure to take action against their own officers before they start threatening law-abiding citizens of this country,” he charged.
Januarie also accused NamPol of ignoring the union’s pleas to investigate alleged threats made by police officers against union members.
The NTTU issued a letter to NamPol’s Inspector-General, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga on 17 March 2014, complaining about alleged threats made by police officers to union members in Omuthiya and Onuno in the Ohangwena Region during the same month.
Januarie warned that union members would take the necessary steps in the event of any harm caused to them.
The union also threatened to hold the Inspector-General responsible if anything happened to NTTU members.
Approached for comment on Tuesday, the Head of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Public Relations’ Division, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi said he is unaware of such allegations.
The NTTU recently threatened to “mobilise thugs, gangsters and the jobless in a violent anti-apartheid-style 16 June strike if traffic fines are not reduced.”
In response, Kanguatjivi said in a media statement that the Force has the mandate to maintain law and order as well as peace and security, including the protection of life and liberty.
As such, any attempts to rioting, violence and/or the incitement of people to riot would be met with the necessary force.
Meanwhile, in a letter dated 08 April 2014 and in this new agency’s possession, Ndeitunga complained that the previous marches which took place on 20 and 24 March 2014, respectively, caused havoc in the city.
Ndeitunga also blamed Januarie for not having co-operated with the police on those two days.
He accused some taxi drivers of causing chaos in the city centre, and driving around State House without permission.
“On this basis, the Force remains concerned with regard to the unlawful actions taken by your members.
Therefore, I take this opportunity to bring it to your attention, being the head of the NTTU, to call your members to order, and to inform them that such types of marches, coupled with lawlessness and unruly behaviour, will not be entertained in future,” Ndeitunga stated in the letter.