Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliamentarian Nico Smit has blamed the authorities, including police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga and gender minister Doreen Sioka, for the spike in violent crimes, saying they are the main culprits “in this unacceptable situation, where women and girls are afraid of entering a taxi or walking on our streets”.
He said, as police chief, Ndeitunga has the constitutional duty and mandate to prevent crime, protect lives and property, as well as maintain law and order.
“It can be safely said that by allowing all these things to escalate beyond reason in Namibia, he has miserably failed the entire nation,” Smit said in a statement.
“We have come to expect that a criminal will only be arrested and charged if they are caught red-handed at the scene of a crime or if they hand themselves over to the police or are pointed out by the community. Investigation is no longer part of the skillset of the Namibian police. Since everyone knows this, criminals continue to rampage through our society, knowing they have nothing to fear from the police.”
Smit also accused the special field force unit of the Namibian police of using excessive force during the ongoing anti-femicide protests.
“It is clear that Inspector General Ndeitunga is either himself unaware that there are other proven ways to handle protests or he has failed in his remit to see to it that both the police service and the Field Force are properly trained,” Smit said.
“General Ndeitunga must go so that he can be replaced by competent, capable, professional officers who want to make all Namibians safer”.
As for Sioka, Smit said, she has clearly failed in her duty to urgently put into action real and practicable plans to further the fight against gender-based violence.
“From what the protest leaders had to say on their placards as well as in their speeches and petitions, the community has had enough of the endless platitudes spouted by members of the ruling party and the minister in particular. Quite rightly, our women and girls are demanding real action now,” he said.
“It is not as if no one knows what to do – just listen to the women and girls themselves! They have plans and ideas of how to stem this tide of violence against them. They deserve to be heard and they deserve to have their demands put into practice,” he said.