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Epukiro livestock theft dockets missing again

2022-05-13  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Epukiro livestock theft dockets missing again
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Angry Epukiro farmers flocked to the constituency’s police station yesterday to express their dissatisfaction over dockets involving livestock theft that allegedly went missing from the station.

Omaheke police deputy commissioner Chris Kalimbula Kalimbula confirmed the incident, saying an investigation into the matter has since been launched. 

“We don’t work on rumours; we have launched our own investigation,” he stated. 

The dockets were allegedly stolen last month. A police officer, whose name is known to New Era, is being fingered in the missing dockets’ saga. 

This is not the first time that dockets go missing at that station. Last year, several dockets of well-known cattle rustlers were also stolen. 

Similarly, in 2020, police officers at the same station were accused of having aided a trial-awaiting inmate to sneak out of the holding cells at night to go and see a lover.

New Era reported in 2020 that a certain Samora David, an alleged serial cattle rustler who was awaiting trial for stock theft, was sneaking out of the police cells to go and spend cozy moments with his girlfriend.

Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga promised during a meeting in May 2020 with the farmers at the village to come up with a holistic strategy to find a long-term solution to rampant cattle theft that had become prevalent in the Epukiro constituency.

However, Community Against Stock Theft Organisation (CATO) chairperson Issy Murangi yesterday told New Era that since Ndeitunga’s visit, nothing has changed.

“What we are planning to do is to demonstrate at Ndeitunga’s office in Windhoek to raise our concerns. We are losing our livelihood, and this cannot continue,” he said.  

In his State of the Region address last year, Omaheke governor Pijoo Nganate said some police officers are relaxing on the job. As such, police officers at Epukiro, Tallismanus, Corridor 13 and Witvlei were rotated for the improvement of police operations, as well as to ensure restoration of trust in the force.

He revealed that Omaheke had lost livestock to the value of N$5 million from April 2019 to March 2020. 

From April 2019 to March 2020, 99 stock theft-related cases were reported to the region’s police, of which 552 were big livestock and 627 small stock to the tune of N$4.95 million.  

Nganate said from the 552 cattle stolen, 159 were recovered, while 292 small livestock of the 627 were recovered to the value of N$1.8 million. 

A total of 244 suspected livestock rustlers were arrested by the police.

 Last week, Otjombinde constituency councillor Wenzel Kavaka vowed to visit all villages with immigration officials and deport “any illegal immigrants”, whom he blames for the increase in cattle theft in the constituency and the Omaheke region at large.

Migrants from neighbouring Angola have flooded the Omaheke region villages over the years.

 Many of these migrants are employed by local farmers as cattle herders.

However, several farmers have accused the purported “illegal immigrants” of stock theft, which has angered them. 

“My message is clear to these people (Angolan nationals). We have been living in peace with these people, but we are now left with no other option but to help them get deported,” Kavaka told New Era last week.

“We will visit all villages, village to village, with the help of traditional leaders and immigration officials, and identify those without documentation to be deported,” he added.  

Angolan migrants moved across the border to Namibia in early 2021 to look for shelter and food after a prolonged drought, exacerbated by the outbreak of Covid-19, left them destitute.

In January 2022, 1 792 people were repatriated back to Angola, but some have found their way further down the south in Namibia, looking for work. 

Others returned to Namibia merely weeks after being repatriated.

Caption (Dockets) 

 

 

   


2022-05-13  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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