Eveline de Klerk Walvis Bay-A Zimbabwean truck driver and the owner of a cross-border cargo transport company based in Zimbabwe, Thompson Chitsa, has claimed that he and his truck drivers are being harassed and victimised by some Namibian Police Force (NamPol) traffic officers at Walvis Bay. Chitsa told the Walvis Bay court Monday that they allegedly refused to pay bribes and thus are being followed around and victimised by certain traffic officers. He made the allegations after spending two days in prison following his arrest for driving without a licence along Nangolo Mbumba Road at Walvis Bay last Wednesday. He allegedly forgot his driver’s licence in his vehicle when he took a cab to go to Namport to pick up another vehicle to be transported to Zimbabwe. Chitsa made his first appearance in court on Friday morning after he was charged on Thursday evening. Upon his first appearance on Friday, he was asked to pay an admission of guilt fine of N$500. The magistrate presiding over his case on Friday indicated he should have been given a fine rather than being arrested. He, however, admitted this was the second time he was committing such an offence. “They always target me when I am collecting a vehicle from the port and driving it to my truck for loading, which is not far from the port,” he explained Monday. Upon paying the fine on Friday, Chitsa was informed by one of the public prosecutors that an additional charge of driving an unlicensed vehicle was added to his case and that he would be arrested again. “I objected, as it was Friday and my case was heard by another magistrate,” he moaned. According to court documents, Magistrate John Sindano presided over the second case and granted him bail of N$1 500 and he had to return to court on Monday again. However, Chitsa was informed Monday morning upon arrival at court that he should only pay an admission of guilty fine of N$1 000 for the offence. “What puzzles me is that I was not given an option in both incidents, despite explaining to the traffic officers that the vehicle I picked up was coming directly from the port that evening and was in transit. I was taking it directly to the truck to be transported to Zimbabwe,” he told New Era. He added that it is not the first time that they have encountered problems, specifically with these two traffic officers “regardless of whether we are within the confines of the law”. “We are not here to transgress any laws, we are simply here to conduct business, legally, or at least me for that matter. I refuse to pay a bribe to any traffic officer and will rather face the law if it’s conducted fairly,” he said. When contacted for comment, Namibian Police Commissioner for Erongo, Andreas Nelumbu, told New Era that NamPol would not tolerate any transgression of the law while at the same time they do not encourage bribery. “He should rather directly seek assistance through the right channels instead of going to the media, so that we do get both sides of the story and carry out an internal investigation,” Nelumbu said Monday.
New Era Reporter
2017-12-20 09:24:25 11 months ago