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Ohangwena bemoans police exclusion 

2023-09-05  Festus Hamalwa

Ohangwena bemoans police exclusion 

ONGWEDIVA - Ohangwena regional council chairperson Erickson Ndawanifa has expressed disappointment in the safety ministry’s purported lack of consultation with the regional leadership. 

Ndawanifa is also the councillor for Omulonga constituency. 

In an exclusive interview with New Era last week, Ndawanifa complained about the absence of police stations at Omulonga and Oshikunde constituencies.  

Ndawanifa said this year alone, two police stations were constructed in the Ohangwena region, at Epembe and Omundaungilo constituencies, without the regional leadership being consulted.  

“I just heard that two police stations have already been completed. They did not consult my office to discuss the challenges of the police stations. I am not happy with how they handled things,” Ndawanifa lamented.  

He said it is unfair for police stations to be constructed in constituencies that already have police stations. 

“How can you build two police stations in those constituencies while there are constituencies without any single police station? They made their decision without engaging the regional chairperson,” he said. What is worse, he said, Omulonga is one of the biggest and densely populated constituencies in the region.   

“People travel long distances seeking police services. People pay transport fare to reach the police station. Every time, people are crying in my constituency,” said the politician.  

Ndawanifa said since 2015, he has been writing letters to the relevant authorities requesting for the construction of a police station in his constituency but to no avail.  

“Now people in my constituency are planning to go on a peaceful demonstration against lack of police stations,” he said. The lack of police stations, he hastened to say, contributes to high crime rate and also delays the reporting of criminal activities.  A resident of Omulonga constituency who spoke to this publication blamed government for not coming to their rescue.  

“We have been voting for the same government but it failed to provide police services in our constituency. Our Prime Minister [Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila] should hear our cry and act,” said David Shaanika.

For Selma Hangula from Oshatotwa village, the lack of police stations is contributing to high gender-based violence as they are far from the police where they can report incidences of crime. 

Approached for comment, police inspector general (IG) Joseph Shikongo said his office is aware of the unavailability of police stations in the Omulonga constituency. 

“We are busy planning to build more police stations in the Ohangwena region and the two Kavango regions, “ he said.

 Meanwhile, deputy safety minister Daniel Kashikola said it was not a must for each constituency to have a police station. He said the new police station was built in the Omundaungilo constituency in order to improve the living conditions of the police officers who used to sleep in a tent at the borders.

“Police at the borders are suffering. Therefore, it is necessary that we first improve their living conditions,” he added. Kashikola also emphasised that the other police station was built in the Epembe constituency because the first police station was old and small.

2023-09-05  Festus Hamalwa

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