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Rundu police cells overcrowded

2024-02-02  John Muyamba

Rundu police cells overcrowded

RUNDU – Acting police regional commander for Kavango East, Eino Nambahu says there ia a need to improve police infrastructure starting with the Rundu police station where the holding cells are always surpassing capacity.

“The cell capacity is 100, however, we are beyond limit by 170. We have 270 inmates. The cell capacity at Ndiyona police station is 80 and today we have 56 inmates, while Omega police station reported eight inmates and the cell capacity is 30, Divundu also has a capacity of 30 and has 60 inmates,” Nambahu said during a visit by the parliamentary standing committee on foreign affairs, defence and security on Thursday.

Mukwe police station, one of the oldest police facilities in the region, is in a bad state and has no police holding cells. 

“The station was constructed from prefabricated materials and now it is not recommended for human occupation. And Mukwe is one of our stations that covers a big area, we get a lot of reports coming from there but its not recommended for use although it is still operational,” he noted.

“Our maximum goes to 350, which forces some inmates to sleep in the exercise rooms. The challenge comes when it rains, as the roofs of the exercising rooms are not sealed but only have burglar bars and when it rains those inmates accommodated there get wet and this cell sections are sometimes having 50 people squeezed in while they are supposed to have only 10,’’ said Rundu police station commander. Hermine Muranda while taking the standing committee for a tour of the holding cells.

“They are always sick, having skin problems due to the condition. The biggest issue with the overcrowded condition is that by the time we finish preparing lunch, its 15h00 which forces us to give them only two meals as it takes too long to cook the food,” she said.

The overcrowding in the cells has been attributed to the postponement and slow investigations of cases, and inmates not being granted bail due to various reasons.

“We have 105 investigators for the whole region, and they are overwhelmed with number of case dockets, the lowest overworked investigator has about 250 cases and the rest have more than that but by national standards, an investigator must only have 50 dockets. 

This is happening due to the shortage of manpower,’’ said the crime investigations coordinator, Bonifatius Kanyetu.

“When we are told of what is happening, we go and see for ourselves, we don’t want to collect information from the boardroom, we also go to see the inmates and ask some of them questions, that is how we are engaging,’’ said the chair of the standing committee, Julius Hambyuka.

2024-02-02  John Muyamba

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