KATIMA MULILO – Safety and security minister Albert Kawana has cautioned police officers against the abuse of policing vehicles, saying the cars are there to always serve the public.
He made the remarks on Thursday during the inauguration of the Singalamwe police station, which also saw the new post receiving a brand-new Toyota Land Cruiser Single Cab LDV 4x4, which cost the government N$678 307.55.
The Singalamwe police site in the Zambezi region was handed over to the contractor on 4 March 2020, and it was completed on 14 September 2023 at a cost of N$34.6 million.
“With this brand-new vehicle, I don’t want to hear that when the community reports crime, they are told that there is no transport. At the same time, I call upon the Inspector General to ensure that the vehicle is not abused. The community is also called upon to report any abuse because the vehicle is here to serve them,” Kawana directed.
The new facility consists of a charge office with three offices, a record room, radio room, kitchenette, 1x2 bedroom house, 2x20 room barracks (twelve rooms for male and eight rooms for female officers), kitchen/dining, staff entertainment area, sewer, water and electrical reticulation lines, drilling of one borehole, as well as access roads and parking space.
He noted, while the government continues to play its role in providing the necessary infrastructure and personnel, it is the duty of all Namibian citizens to maintain peace and stability through their active involvement in special policing programmes, aimed at the provision of safety and security in their respective communities.
Equally, he said, it is everyone’s business to ensure these facilities are kept for future generations to come.
He urged all Namibian citizens to support the Namibian Police Force in its quest to prevent and combat crime, and to take up the responsibility of assisting the Namibian Police Force to create a safer environment for all.
“Namibia must continue to be a beacon of peace, stability and security on the African continent,” he said.
According to Kawana, the inauguration of the facility will ensure that policing services, such as crime prevention, investigation of any offence or alleged offence, as well as maintenance of law and order are brought closer to the people.
He is, therefore, hopeful that the Zambezi Police will continue to be organised and focused on accomplishing the basic mission of the force by embracing a community-based and problem-oriented policing strategy.
Kawana believes this project will go a long way towards addressing the prevalent crime of stock theft, as the community will be able to report the crime to men and women in uniform who are posted there.
He then called upon the entire security cluster, complemented by the community in the region and other stakeholders, to continue working together with the police to root out crime.
Additionally, he said the project is in line with government’s mission and value to always render effective and efficient service delivery to the Namibian nation and visitors alike.
“It is, thus, our long-term goal that by the year 2030, Namibia should have adequate facilities and infrastructure, such as state-of-the-art police stations, barracks, office accommodation, police training centres and other police facilities who will, in turn, be of benefit to the Force and the Namibian nation at large,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, inspector general of the Namibian Police Joseph Shikongo indicated the police Force management took serious note of the prevalent crimes in Zambezi region, ranging from murder, attempted murder, rape, stock-theft, kidnapping, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as housebreaking – just to mention a few.
“This, indeed, gives us sleepless nights; we should, therefore, intensify our crime prevention efforts and work closely with the community to ensure all criminals are rooted out of our society,” he stressed.
Therefore, he said, the establishment of the Singalamwe police post is not merely the construction of a building but a testament to government’s commitment to safety, security and the rule of law in the community.
“Our officers will now have a stronger presence in the area, strengthening the bond between the police and the public. Their physical presence is also a form of crime deterrent, facilitate prompt responses to incidents and foster a sense of security among our citizens,” he remarked.
The inauguration was attended by Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu, Zambezi regional police commander Andreas Shilelo, Zambezi regional councillors, traditional authority members as well as border officials from Zambia.