Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has called on citizens to engage in peaceful demonstrations that are within the confines of the law.
In a statement, Ndeitunga said hate speeches, incitement of violence, threats and intimidations will not be condoned as such acts are unconstitutional and can incite violence.
“Therefore, the Namibian police force would like to inform the public that it will not tolerate any unlawful acts, instigation of violence and or any violent acts. Consequently, anyone who may make themselves guilty of such acts will sternly be dealt with,” reads the statement.
According to Ndeitunga, although peaceful demonstrations are recognised in democracies worldwide as an acceptable form of public expression, they should be conducted within reasonable constriction of the law for national security and public order.
“I urge the Namibian nation to desist from conducting themselves in unlawful acts during demonstrations. As peace loving Namibians, we should always follow the lawful procedures in expressing grievances,” he said.
The police have indicated that those who wish to organise demonstrations should notify a station commander at their nearest police station in the area where the demonstration will take place. The notification should be made at least three working days in advance.
Organisers should sensitise their members not to infringe on other people’s rights during a protest and should respect the laws of the country.
No person is allowed to have any form of weapon while in attendance at any protest or gathering and peaceful gatherings should be conducted.
Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi said the police were alarmed by a voice recording of a man mobilising the public to join a demonstration and was inciting for lawlessness and violence during the alleged demonstration.
In the recording circulating on social media, he could be heard informing bus drivers to assemble at designated areas in various regions and block all national roads.
He further informed the masses to remove vehicles from the road, camp at police traffic checkpoints and forcefully remove passengers from their vehicles.
“The man (who is just a bus owner and not in the leadership of NABTA) was located and engaged by the police here in Khomas. He has since apologised for the misguided information and thereby consented to retract the violent message,” said Shikwambi.
Further reiterating the importance of maintaining peace during demonstrations.