A kapana seller from Havana settlement in Windhoek is suing the government for N$2.15 million for physical and emotional pain and suffering, discomfort, permanent loss of amenities, trauma, psychological damage and injury to his dignity and reputation in addition to unlawful arrest and detention. David Shambo is claiming he was assaulted by a number of police officers, who hit him with clenched fists; kicked with booted feet and repeatedly hit with a hard object on his right knee.
This assault resulted in severe injuries to his body, including lacerations, bruises, and a tibial plateau fracture of his right knee. He said he feared for his life and felt humiliated, traumatised and degraded.
For this, he claims N$2 million. He further stated he was unlawfully and without a warrant, reasonable suspicion or cause arrested by several members of the Namibian Police Force on 1 June 2020 at about 12h00 near Erf 385, Monte Christo Road, in Havana. For this, he claims N$150 000.
According to Shambo, he was selling meat lawfully, as the regulations at the time allowed him to sell raw meat for takeaway only. He further claims there were never more than 10 people at his stand, and that the persons the police allude to were his children and his cousin, who live at his residence.
According to Shambo, when the police arrived, he told them he was allowed to sell meat, and that it is his only source of income. They, however, did not listen and forcefully arrested him – and in the process broke his knee and caused other injuries.
He said that because of the injury he suffered to his knee, he is unable to perform even the most menial task, as he is in constant pain and cannot walk without a crutch.
In addition, he said, he had to move back to his village in the north because he can no longer provide for his family; he had to sell his vehicle to make ends meet.
According to Shambo, he is entitled to the damages claimed, as he is no longer able to fend for himself and his family. With regards to the claim for unlawful arrest, he said his arrest was unlawful, as he was allowed to sell meat with the restriction that no more than 10 people should gather at the same time.
At no stage, he claims, were there more than 10 people at his stand, and he is fighting the notices in court. In defence of the lawsuit, the government called on police officer Robert Kundu. He stated that on the day in question, he was on duty with two colleagues when they came across Shambo’s house, where he was selling kapana. He then asked who was selling the kapana, and Shambo answered that he was the one.
According to the police officer, he then instructed Shambo to stop and reminded him that he had already arrested him for the same transgression previously – for which he was fined N$2 000.
Shambo, however, blatantly refused and claimed that the kapana business is his only source of income. He also refused to go to the police vehicle when instructed to in terms of the Covid-19 regulations.
The officers who were with him then tried to handcuff Shambo, who was aggressive; hence, minimum force had to be used, Kundu stated.
He further said while they were driving to the Wanaheda Police Station, Shambo claimed to have broken his leg, and they took him to Katutura Hospital. He further claimed that nobody assaulted Shambo, and that he must have broken his leg by “bumping” it into something while being handcuffed.
The matter is before Windhoek High Court Judge Essi Schimming-Chase. Shambo is represented by Norman Tjombe, while the government is represented by Ronald Ketjitere from the government attorney’s office.