Councillors regard police as incompetent to fight stock theft

06 Dec 2018 11:10am
WINDHOEK, 06 DEC (NAMPA) - While acknowledging that the operations of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) have been crippled by underfunding, several members of the National Council are of the view that the force is no longer able to fight stock theft in the country.
The sentiment was expressed on Wednesday when the House debated the Ministry of Safety and Security's budget.
The members agreed in unison that the force’s budget is insufficient, considering the mammoth mandate it is required to fulfil.
For the current financial year, the ministry received N.dollars 5.1 billion from Treasury. The figure was revised upwards during the Mid-Term Budget Review to N.dollars 5.2 billion.
First to make his contribution was Amunius Constituency Councillor and member of the National Unity Democratic Organisation, Peter Kazongominja, who reiterated that the safety of the citizenry should not be compromised.
According to him, NamPol needs at least N.dollars 10 billion to fully execute its obligations.
Kazongominja said that when it comes to the prevention of stock theft, which has ravaged farmers countrywide, NamPol is nowhere to be found.
He added people travel from as far as Amunius, Otjinene and Epukiro with cars loaded with carcasses but it goes through all the road blocks, “and one wonders how does this happen”.
The only logical conclusion Kazangominja arrived at is that some NamPol members are part of the said syndicate.
“If they are not involved, what is so difficult for them to apprehend and to get these criminals?” he asked.
The councillor added that discipline is zilch among members of the force, who ought to uphold and protect the laws of the country.
“You say the bars must close at 22h00 but when you come there at 22h00, the one that is dancing (in the bar) is a police officer, the very same person who is supposed to close the bar,” he charged.
Echoing similar sentiments, Swapo’s Vejama Kanguatjivi from the Epukiro Constituency said indications are that the police are no longer able to handle stock theft in the country.
“Stock theft is one of the biggest threats facing Namibian livestock owners. I reckon that the problem is probably much bigger than we realise,” Kanguatjivi said.
He attributed, without providing figures, the increasing stock theft to poor police investigations and an ineffective justice system.
Popular Democratic Movement’s Nguzu Muharukua also entered the fray, saying lack of police vehicles has made it difficult for the force to fight these syndicates, who are well-resourced in most cases.
“The police must get enough transport. Otherwise the people will take the law into their own hands to deal with these criminals,” Muharukua stated briefly.