KATIMA MULILO – The theft of building materials, earmarked for the construction of a hostel for destitute learners at Liselo combined school in Zambezi region, has left educators reeling in anger.
One of them is the region’s education director Jost Kawana, who expressed disappointment when community members stole building materials worth over N$300 000.
The materials were aimed at constructing a hostel for needy learners at Liselo combined school.
This comes after 11 suspects were nabbed last week, following a raid after the police received a tip-off from community members about stolen items being sold to individuals in the community, while others kept them at their houses.
The suspects, who appeared in the Katima Mulilo Magistrate's Court on Thursday, include a 73-year-old pensioner and a 16-year-old minor.
Six of them were denied bail, while others were granted a reduced bail of N$5 000 by magistrate Clara Mwilima from the initial N$10 000 proposed fine.
“It is disappointing to see what was discovered from the massive looting of materials meant to complete the Liselo combined school hostel, which is a luxury to most of the learners in the Zambezi region, where learners squat most of the time,” Kawana commented when asked on the matter yesterday.
It is alleged the accused persons were found in possession of building materials worth N$330 316, suspected to have been stolen between December 2022 and June 2023 at Liselo combined school in the Zambezi region.
Some of the suspects are alleged to be employees at the site and others were those who either bought or housed the stolen items.
Those implicated are also believed to be family members living in the same village at Liselo, where the school hostel is under construction.
The police managed to confiscate some of the building materials, and more arrests are expected.
Zambezi region, Kawana said, is characterised by a lack of learners’ accommodation, resulting in informal structures constructed by learners in every secondary school outside the Katima Mulilo town.
It was Kawana’s fervent hope that the completion of the Liselo hostel would alleviate or enable some of these learners to have decent accommodation enjoyed by others countrywide.
Kawana called upon community members to desist from stealing or buying goods meant to alleviate the challenges of the lack of proper hostels in the Zambezi region.
While the government is addressing the challenge of lack of accommodation in schools, he remarked “It will be naïve of us to frustrate the efforts of the government”.
Kawana thanked the Namibian police under the leadership of Commissioner Andreas Shilelo for the prompt action that led to the discovery of such huge stolen items.
The case was postponed to 26 October for further investigations.
Accused persons, who appeared in the Katima Mulilo magistrate court last Wednesday, are Alffeus Matias (45), Muyembuko Kalwale (29), Luyeni Pilingani (35), Webber Mubake (32), Mutolwa Naini, Mubiyana Linyando (32), Peter Mushiko (39), Ngalaule Milinga (73), Naloya Kalwale (41), Manyka Kalwale (19) and the 16-year-old minor, whose name cannot be revealed.
Their next court appearance is on 26 October 2023.
In an unrelated matter, the environment chief warden for Zambezi, Morgan Saisai, with three others also appeared in court yesterday on counts of malicious damage to property and assault by threatening.
The suspects were denied bail and their case has been postponed to 13 July 2023 for further police investigations.
According to court records, Saisai and three others unlawfully and maliciously damaged three kraals, a mud house and a water well, valued at N$41 800 in the Izimwe area.
The said property belongs to Trevor Ndigani, who laid a case against the accused persons.
Saisai also faces a case of assault.
On 25 June 2023, it is alleged that the chief warden assaulted Mulele Kanyanga by threatening he would “kill her”.
This threat prompted Kanyanga to open a case of assault by threatening against Saisai.
Pic: Theft buildings