WALVIS BAY - Acting regional commander of the Namibian police in Erongo, Deputy Commissioner Tobie Gerber says the incident in which one person was shot after robbing a man in Kuisebmond during Operation Kalahari Desert was a regrettable incident.
However, Gerber who was briefing the media with regards to the second phase of the operation that also kicked off last week in Erongo, was quick to say that people are tired of being attacked and robbed on a daily basis, especially in the area where the shooting took place.
The man, Herman Shiimi, 21 was shot in his abdomen on Saturday evening while fleeing, after he robbed a 40-year-old man of his wallet containing N$300. A Namibian Defence Force (NDF) member allegedly fired three warning shots before he shot Shiimi, who ignored the warnings.
The popular hangout area in Kuisebmond, referred to as ‘The Centre’ is a hive of activity especially weekends and is one of the crime hotspots in Walvis Bay, according to Gerber.
“It is indeed regrettable that shots had been fired as this is the last resort in any situation. However, our members reacted according to the rules and used minimum force to affect the arrest of the fleeing suspect,” he said.
Gerber explained that as standard procedure, only a case was registered against the NDF member who shot the suspect. His weapon was also taken for forensic tests, to establish whether it was the exact gun used in the shooting.
“Once it is completed, the docket will be handed over to the prosecutor general who will ultimately decides if the law enforcement agent will be prosecuted or not,” he said.
Gerber appealed to residents to fully cooperate with the law to avoid such incidences as the operation is aimed at keeping residents and visitors safe at all times.
“Overall, the behaviours of residents are commendable and we have seen a decline in sharp or dangerous weapons since the start of the second phase, with only 18 weapons, unlike the hundreds during the first phase,” Gerber said.
Apart from that, he says that the police issued fines of N$33 000 to motorists violating road regulations while fines totalling N$20 000 were issued to illegal shebeen owners.
A further six illegal immigrants (Angolans) were also arrested and handed over to immigration officials.
Gerber also indicated that the Operation Kalahari will soon be rolled out to towns such as Omaruru and Karibib as well as rural and farming areas in the region.