Over the years, farmers in the Epukiro constituency have been losing a lot of livestock, of which would be reported to the police station at Epukiro Post 3, said Sandie Tjaronda on behalf of Epukiro farmers.
The farmers are, however, not happy because of ineptitude and negligence on the part of the police, as case dockets are mysteriously lost and the evidence is not traced or compiled properly.
Tjaronda said: “Initially, they thought it’s just human error but it has now come to our attention that police officers stationed at Epukiro Post 3 are collaborating with the suspects.”
“They are bribed with either meat or cash; we understand they go into agreements that after a sale of stolen livestock, a certain portion should be reserved for a specific police officer one is dealing with at that moment,” he said.
This has led the community to launch their investigations into the matter by tracing the suspects and obtaining information from them.
However, that has led to some altercations, a situation that the community is saying was brought by their desperation of getting to the root cause of stock theft in their constituency.
The painful thing now, and which angered the community, is that the police started turning on the innocent community by arresting those allegedly assaulting suspected livestock thieves.
The latest is the arrest of Hengari of Otjimati, who was denied bail on grounds he will interfere with other people who have not yet been arrested.
The community, after realising how ineffective their police officers are, decided to do community policing and through their efforts, they recovered livestock but the police is now treating them like they have become enemies of the State.
“Often, our police station has been sending people away on the basis that there is no car or the car has no fuel but now there is a swift operation to arrest those who stood for their community to retrieve their stolen livestock on their own; that is not fair! This is why we decided to demonstrate and express our democratic rights and concerns of the ineffectiveness of our police officers,” said one community member, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“We plead that the cases against the people who were arrested on the falsified cases of assault, which we think is retaliation of the criminals on the community, should be withdrawn; otherwise, they should arrest all of us as farmers,” complained another member of the community.
“The police are supposed to be our hope but they proved not to be a place of relief; they failed to grant us justice with regard to stock theft,” moaned another community member, who also requested anonymity.