• December 15th, 2019

Khomas commander and PLC differ on policing approach

WINDHOEK – Khomas regional police chief, Commissioner Joseph Shikongo, has called on civil society organisations – and particularly the People’s Litigation Centre (PLC) – to be objective in their demands and reporting.  

Shikongo said that as regional police chief he wants to work closely with civil society. He, however, accused PLC of treating matters of crime differently, saying the centre seems more concerned with crime alleged to have been committed by members of the police or military, and not common criminals.

“There are so many killings happening in our society and if I produce to you the number of people who were murdered in the location, they were many, but we don’t see this People’s Litigation Centre coming out and demonstrating about the life lost, but if anything happens because it is a police officer or member of the NDF, you will see them coming out and writing letters to the government complaining about the action of the government,” he said.

Recently, PLC wrote to the government to demand that soldiers who formed part of the just-ended Operation Kalahari Desert, a joint safety operation between the police and military, be removed from the streets.

This was after a soldier allegedly shot dead a Zimbabwean taxi driver in Katutura, and also following many claims about soldiers assaulting civilians.

“Yes, we condemn that (the killing) and we don’t allow people to turn guns against our people, but these people [PLC] must be objective,” said Shikongo. 

Shikongo made these comments during an interview with New Era regarding the just ended Operation Kalahari Desert and his plans as new Khomas police commissioner, amongst others.
He furthermore urged civil society and non-governmental organisations to be impartial in their demands and reporting.

PLC chairperson Mathias Haufiku said the fact that the public are turning to the centre for assistance should remind Shikongo that the public have lost confidence in the police. Many members of the public have now turned to the PLC and other like-minded entities to fight on their behalf when it comes to justice, Haufiku said. Haufiku added that the fact that government has roped in the army was evidence that it no longer has enough confidence in Nampol.

“But the fact of the matter is that government should not hide the failure of Nampol to protect persons and properties by unleashing the army – the problem should be addressed head-on,” said Haufiku.
He also said the police have over the years failed to solve heinous murders because of their archaic police tactics. 

“The force has also failed to adopt modern police strategies to police communities. They can be in the form of using drones and cellphone tracking to monitor movements of persons of interest. The Nampol leadership should devise more effective crime-prevention tactics and focus on being proactive to crime, instead of the current reactive mode in which the force finds itself,” he remarked.

Selma Ikela
2019-07-16 09:43:40 | 4 months ago

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