Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has been waxing lyrical in recent weeks in the wake of what is now dubbed the ‘Rundu massacre’, in which five people got killed at the eastern border town. The five victims, who included a defenceless elderly woman and minor children, were cold-bloodedly killed by a male family member whose antics and threats were earlier reported to the police but nothing was done to protect them. Ndeitunga was livid. And for days he spoke big about how he would no longer tolerate excuses from police officers that fail to attend to matters where people’s lives are in danger. But even before the ink dried on newspaper headlines quoting his big talk, a young life was taken on Wednesday this week in a manner reminiscent of the fatal episode of Rundu. Alina Kakehongo, according to glaring evidence that emerged after her killing by, ironically a police officer boyfriend, visited a police station at least three times to alert officers to the death threats she was facing. On Friday last week she visited the police station but nothing was done to protect her. On Monday this week, she went back again to impress upon the officers the danger her life was under but this too fell on deaf ears. On Tuesday, the eve of her killing, she stepped up her search for protection by actually opening a case of assault by threat and, again sadly, nothing came of it. As in the case of Rundu, police showed up in numbers after she was killed already. In the Rundu case, Ndeitunga questioned how police claimed they did not have vehicles to drive to the site of threats but a massive 12 vehicles showed up after the massacre. In the Kakehongo case, the logistics excuse, if peddled, would not hold any water because the victim had been crying out for help over a period of time. Despite her desperate call, police officers did not see the need to disarm their colleague or call him in for questioning, especially after a criminal case – assault by threat – was opened. The fact that a service pistol was used in the killing weighs heavily on the police. In the end, a defenceless woman was killed after persistently looking for protection, and, to make matters worse, with a police firearm. This is felony! What these episodes of police carelessness demand is action from the top. This is in line with President Hage Geingob’s demand last month at Omuthiya that safety and security minister Charles Namoloh and Ndeitunga take the necessary steps to ensure that rogue officers are weeded out of the force. To not comply with the order of the highest office, especially in this particular case, would be disobedience. The time to talk big in front of media cameras must end now. Let’s do more and talk less. A lot can be achieved towards change in public perceptions and to improve the standards of policing if the leadership within the police act against the sloppy officers and their immediate bosses who, we dare say, are culpable for the death of Alina. After all, every profession has the primary responsibility to discipline its members and maintain a code of ethical behaviour. Over to you, Sebastian!
New Era Reporter
2018-07-27 09:21:01 6 months ago