A Somali businessman, who runs a grocery shop alongside Clemens Kapuuo Street in Katutura Central, said he is willing to give up his business for a police station to help fight crime in the area.
Mohammed Marwan, with the support of the local community, offered his business, saying they cannot tolerate rampant crime in the neighbourhood, which has affected both residents and businesses.
The area in question includes the infamous Herero Mall, which has in the past been flagged as a crime hotspot.
“I migrated from my country because of war, hoping to find better living in Namibia. Although I found a place I can call home, the crime rate is very high and I don’t only fear for my life but for the lives of women and children, whose lives are also in danger,” Marwan, who also lives in the neighbourhood, said.
“There is so much robbery and theft in this area and people do not walk freely, especially during the night.”
Marwan fears the situation will spiral out of control if law enforcement does not step in. Just a week before the interview with New Era, Marwan was brutally assaulted by unknown men who had attempted to rob his shop.
“I am not giving this place because of the incident but I am doing this for the community. I am scared this might happen to somebody else. The place is ready; all they need to do is just to accept our request,” he said. Other residents complained of the police’s alleged inability to tackle crime.
“The police officers are fully aware of what is happening in this location but nothing much was done. We have been sending complaints now and then with no response,” said a visibly irritated resident. Local resident and community activist Maria Emvula also said the area has become unsafe over the years.
“The place has become risky for us and our children; we do not feel safe anymore and we are like prisoners in our own homes. The outcry is supported by the local schools and the entire community. We are willing to meet the police halfway to provide a crime-free environment,” said Emvula.
In an effort to establish the partnership with the police, Emvula said they are assisting law enforcement as a community to deal decisively with crime.
When asked for comment, police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi said she was not aware of a request for a police station in the area. She, however, said the efforts of the local community to help fight crime and violence would be highly appreciated.
“Although there are certain measures to be put in place in terms of the infrastructure, it is important for members of the community to assist and support the police in the fight against crime,” she said.