New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Holding cells full of illegal immigrants - Ndeitunga

Holding cells full of illegal immigrants - Ndeitunga

2022-07-28  John Muyamba

Holding cells full of illegal immigrants - Ndeitunga

RUNDU – It is of concern to note that the Namibian Police holding cells, meant for the accused persons before their first appearance in court, are heavily congested.

Outgoing Namibian Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga said this has become a burden to the police to carry out its core mandate of combating crime due to remand custody. 

Ndeitunga said there is a high number of detained illegal immigrants countrywide.

“It is of concern,” he said during the official opening of the Namibian Police Force Senior Command Conference 2022, in Rundu. The conference is being held under the theme, ‘Re-imaging Policing Services in a Diverse Society’.

During the weeklong conference, the police leadership is expected to map out realistic strategies on how best to effectively carry out the core functions of the force, ensure the safety and internal security of the Namibian nation, and improve service delivery.

“In order to mitigate the congestion of the cells, during the last two days of our deliberations, the Senior Command Conference 2022 took a decision to engage our relevant stakeholders, particularly the Namibian Correctional Service and the immigration control department, to holistically address the decongestion of holding cells,” he noted. 

Another concern Ndeitunga brought to the attention of the safety minister Albert Kawana was the issue of amnesty for the public to surrender firearms, ammunition and related materials. 

“The process has commenced, the gazetting was already done, and the next step is for the honourable minister to launch,” he said.

“It is also worth mentioning that after the opening, the Senior Command Conference will engage our stakeholders in the criminal justice system to further strategise on public safety matters,” he noted.

Ndeitunga revealed that during the last financial year (2021/2022), the police recorded 98 640 criminal cases, which included robbery, rape and violence against women and children and other forms of domestic violence, murder, theft of motor vehicles and livestock, dealing in drugs, housebreaking and theft.  

The most affected regions, were Khomas, Oshana, Otjozondjupa and Erongo with 32.8%, 10.7%, 8.6% and 7.9% of the total reported crimes, respectively. Whereas, Kavango West, Kunene, and Omaheke were the least affected with 1.3%, 1.5% and 2.9%, correspondingly.

On the other hand, Kawana noted that the prevalence of crime in Namibia is a matter of concern to all and he is however aware that fighting crime, cannot be the responsibility of the police alone.

“Crime requires intervention from different stakeholders, particularly the institutions charged with addressing socio-economic issues, which in most cases, are the motives that drive criminals to commit economic crimes,” he said. 

“Crime thrives in an environment of poverty, hunger, unemployment, and lack of economic empowerment. Therefore, as commanders, I encourage you to master the crime trends in the country, and renew your strengths and capabilities to do your part as law enforcement officers,’’ he noted.

“I must emphasise, however, that the strategies should not only be limited to operational and administrative functions, but should also look at the relevance of some of the policies, both internal and external,” Kawana noted. 

He further noted that areas such as the Police Act and accompanying manuals including other laws that the force is required to enforce might be reviewed.

“To this end, I can only assure you that my office will be ready to intervene, should there be a need to amend any existing legislation that is not found to be relevant in the modern policing dynamics,’’ he said.

Kawana urged the Namibian Police to work together with his office and stakeholders toward improving the state of safety and security in the country. He further highlighted that in recent days, the police have come under criticism regarding the enforcement of some laws in the country.

“Although not all criticisms reflect the reality on the ground, you really need to review your current crime fighting strategies,” he said.


2022-07-28  John Muyamba

Share on social media