29 May 2013 11:00
GOBABIS, 29 MAY (NAMPA) - The Minister of Safety and Security, Immanuel Ngatjizeko has warned community members against harbouring criminals, noting that such deeds were hampering crime fighting efforts.
Ngatjizeko, who was addressing political and traditional leaders during a courtesy call on the Office of the Omaheke Regional Governor on Wednesday, said efforts by the police to fight crime were often derailed by community members who are harbouring criminals.
The minister warned that such a practise is severely punishable by law, as it is tantamount to being an accomplice to a criminal act.
?Criminals live among us. They do not live on the moon or somewhere else. Therefore, we should develop a culture of exposing such bad elements in our society if we really have good intentions of ridding our communities of crime,? he said.
Ngatjizeko noted that anyone could be a target of criminals. As such, crime-fighting efforts cannot be left to the police alone but should benefit from the involvement of all sectors of society.
?Today you may protect a criminal by hiding him from the law because the crime was not committed against you. But what happens when the tides turn on you and you become the target of criminals? We all fall victim to crime at one or the other point. We need each other to combat crime,? Ngatjizeko stressed.
The Safety and Security Minister also spoke out against the high incidences of gender-based violence in the Omaheke Region.
He urged traditional and political leaders to make the prevention of gender-based violence a permanent agenda point during their deliberations.
?We need to do everything possible to break the cycle of these heinous crimes that are committed against the most vulnerable members of our society ? the women and children. As leaders, we have a responsibility to tackle this issue head-on, and to explore every available option to address it,? he said.
The meeting, which was hosted by Omaheke Regional Governor Festus Ueitele, was attended by representatives from the Ovaherero Traditional Authority, the Bakgalagadi Traditional Authority, the Ovambanderu Traditional Authority, and the /Gobanin Traditional Authority.
Regional and local authority councillors, regional heads of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and other officials from various other government structures were also in attendance.