Omaheke welcomes 'Operation Omake'

29 Feb 2016 14:40pm
GOBABIS, 29 FEB (NAMPA) - Omaheke Regional Governor, Festus Ueitele has called on all sectors of society to join hands in the fight against crime.
Ueitele said crime knows no boundaries and as such requires a multi-sectoral approach in order to fully address the challenges posed by rising criminal cases.
The governor made the remarks during the regional launch of the national crime prevention initiative, 'Operation Omake' in the Omaheke Region here on Friday.
Ueitele said the police alone cannot solve all the criminal cases reported to them on a daily basis, hence the need for traditional authorities, religious leaders, community organisations and the community at large to actively join crime prevention efforts.
“We have to declare war against crime if we are serious about crime prevention in our region. To do that, we need the involvement of all stakeholders so that our messages can go far and wide,” he said.
He noted that increasing crime levels could have negative impacts on the prevailing peace and stability, and could also affect economic development as investors do not want to set up enterprises in a crime ridden environment.
Speaking at the same occasion, Namibian Police Force (NamPol) Regional Commander for Omaheke, Commissioner Josephat Abel urged community members to assist the police in identifying criminal elements within society.
He said the public often shields criminals from law enforcement agencies, which makes the fight against crime difficult.
Abel said in other cases, victims of crime fail to report cases - especially of domestic violence and other gender-based violence (GBV) offences.
“We rely on the community to assist the police in addressing crime in our region. The police cannot patrol in the privacy of your bedrooms, so it is up to you to report crime to the police for us to protect you and restore order. Avoid protecting criminals,” he said.
Gobabis residents, learners and the Gobabis Municipality, amongst others, joined members of the armed forces (NamPol and the Namibia Defence Force) in clearing bushes behind the town's main sports stadium - the Legare Stadium.
The area has become notorious as a hide-out for criminals who prey on community members returning from work as they use the footpaths in the area as a shortcut to their places of residence.
The trunks of trees uprooted in the area will be left to be harvested as wood by needy residents.
More areas will be cleared as the 'Operation Omake' rolls out to the rest of the town in due course.
Operation Omake is a joint effort between the Namibian Police; Windhoek City Police and Namibian Defence Force (NDF).
It was launched in November last year by the Minister of Safety and Security, Charles Namoloh.
Omake is Oshiwambo/Otjiherero for ‘putting hands together’.
Some of the activities under Operation Omake are the clearing of riverbeds and open spaces; flattening of riverbeds where deemed fit; increased patrols by NamPol; enforcement of the Liquor Act; and stricter controlling of liquor outlets like shebeens to mention a few.