Amnesty period for illegal weapons extended

01 Dec 2016 20:10pm
WINDHOEK, 01 DEC (NAMPA) – The Namibian Government has extended the amnesty period for the surrendering of unlicensed firearms, ammunitions and explosives until February next year.
This is to allow people in possession of illegal firearms, ammunitions and explosives to surrender the weapons the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) without fear of being prosecuted.
NamPol spokesperson Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi told Nampa on Wednesday anyone who hands over illegal arms and ammunition to the police during the amnesty period will not be prosecuted.
However, once the period has lapsed, action will be taken in terms of Section 4 of the Arms and Ammunition Act, 1996 (Act of 1996).
Those in possession of illegal weapons have until 18 February 2017 to hand it in.
In August this year, an amnesty period of three months from 18 August was declared.
Minister of Safety and Security, Charles Namoloh said in the National Assembly (NA) last Thursday the amnesty period would not be extended further after February 2017 and those found to have illegal weapons will be dealt with in terms of the laws governing the possession of weapons.
Namoloh also indicated that 44 073 pieces of ammunition, 925 firearms and 66 explosive devices were surrendered to the police during the August-November amnesty period.
The ministry however believes there are more illegal weapons in the possession of citizens.
Of the 925 firearms handed in, only 24 were firearms that were licensed, Namoloh said.
He also indicated that the items handed over were surrendered by owners, including museums. Some were inherited or given to people by the South African colonial government before independence, while others claimed to have picked up such items from bushes or on farms.
According to figures provided by the Safety and Security Ministry, the most ammunitions were surrendered in the Otjozondjupa Region during the initial amnesty period (20 479).
In the Khomas Region, 14 117 pieces of ammunition were handed over, while a further 4 099 were surrendered in Oshikoto, followed by Ohangwena with 2 022 and Omusati with 1 515.
Firearms handed over were 694 in Khomas and 50 in Otjozondjupa.
Of the 66 explosives received, 45 were from Otjozondjupa and 21 from the Khomas Region.
Just five and four firearms were surrendered in the Hardap and //Kharas regions respectively. No ammunitions and explosives were received in the two regions.
No ammunitions, firearms or explosives were surrendered to NamPol in the Kavango West region.