Otjiwarongo police holding cells impress MPs

12 Jul 2014 11:50am
OTJIWARONGO, 12 JUL (NAMPA) – The chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender, Youth, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on Friday said she is happy with the general condition of the Otjiwarongo police holding cells.
Germina Shitaleni, who is also Swakopmund Constituency Councillor, told Nampa in an interview on Friday shortly after her inspection of the holding cells that she is happy to see flushing toilets and taps in each cell.
Shitaleni was accompanied by another member of the standing committee, Nimrod Muremi.
Rundu Urban Constituency Councillor Muremi is a member of the National Council.
Shitaleni said her committee conducted public hearings in different regions from Monday to Friday this week to do its own assessment on the conditions of police cells, homes of safety, and prisons.
Their visits started in the Kavango East Region, followed by the Ohangwena, Oshana and Otjozondjupa regions.
“We were prompted to conduct this investigation after the death of the four-year-old Fortuna Tenete, who was locked up with his mother at the Wanaheda Police Station in Windhoek early this year,” she said.
Tenete was killed when a fellow detainee smashed his head against the floor of the cell after an argument with the boy’s mother inside the Wanaheda police holding cells.
The suspect, Loise Kaambu has since committed suicide in the Gobabis police cells.
Kaambu was transferred to Gobabis after the incident in Windhoek.
According to Shitaleni, her committee also assessed the holding cells to determine what measures are needed to ensure that the rights of minor children are protected when their mothers are in custody.
“We are satisfied with the general state of the cells here. They are clean, equipped with flushing toilets and taps, much better than other regions we have visited so far,” she noted.
She was also impressed to witness trial-awaiting prisoners clean their own cells, noting that such responsibility is good as it holds them accountable to keep what is essentially their temporary homes, clean.
The committee is set to visit the //Karas Region from 04 to 08 August 2014.