The Namibia Bus and Taxi Association secretary general, Pendapala Nakathingo, says they are disturbed by taxi hijackings, which have been on the increase in Windhoek.
Nakathingo told New Era yesterday the association is considering coming up with mechanisms to enable taxi drivers to act in self-defence.
Last weekend, two taxis were hijacked while the drivers were robbed of their belongings, including cash, cell phones and documents by unknown criminals in Windhoek.
“Law enforcement always discourage taxi drivers to carry weapons in their cars. Now the criminals have taken advantage of that and are fully aware that the drivers cannot defend themselves,” he said.
“We will state certain mechanisms of how our taxi drivers defend themselves. We will introduce the starting and the ending hours as it was. Law enforcement have been forcing the drivers not to have even a sjambok in the cars to defend themselves. Criminals are approaching the drivers without any fear.”
Criminality against taxi drivers in Windhoek is of the highest concern and the association will communicate to its members soon through a media statement, according to Nakathingo.
Nakathingo cautions their members to be vigilant especially when they are driving late at night.
Khomas police spokesperson Silas Shipandeni said on Monday a taxi driver was robbed at gunpoint by three suspects that he picked up at Gammams service station in Khomasdal as clients.
“They were supposed to be dropped at Donkerhoek. When they arrived, the front passenger took a firearm and pointed it at the complainant while the two suspects in the back seat also took out knives and threatened to stab the complainant. They ordered him to stop the vehicle. He was then pulled to the rear seats,” he said.
“One of the suspects drove off with the car while the complainant was ordered to sit in the back seat in the middle of the other two suspects. They drove to Brakwater where they forcefully removed him from the car and left him there.”
Shipandeni said the driver was also robbed of N$630 in cash, a blue Honda Fit taxi worth N$40 000, a black Samsung A10, black leather wallet containing personal documents, including ID and a driver’s licence.
Shipandeni said the vehicle is not yet recovered and police investigations continue.
In a related matter, another taxi driver was robbed of his vehicle and money in Otjomuise while he was on duty.
It is alleged that the three suspects took a taxi from Kamberipa Street, Katutura to Otjomuise, beat up the complainant and drove off with his taxi without consent.
Shipandeni said the hijacked car in question is a white Toyota Corolla taxi valued at N$50 000 and it was recovered after two days.
In both incidents, no arrests have been made by the police and the investigations in both matters will continue.