KEETMANSHOOP - A community fish project here suffered a loss of about N$5 000 after a security guard stole fish and other items.
Asser Shoombe (64) was fired on Tuesday after being caught red-handed with fish from the Keetmanshoop Fonteintjie Community Fish Farm on the same day. He stole the fish during his Monday evening shift.
The old man has been working as a security guard at the project for five years and earned N$1000 per month.
Project Manager Peter Simasiku told Nampa on enquiry Tuesday that apart from fish, Shoombe also stole two rakes, spinach, one toilet door, an oxygen water pump and two bags of acacia pods. All items are worth a combined N$5 000 approximately.
Acacia pods were collected for sale to farmers to feed their animals and generate a little income for the project. Simasiku said he realised last week that the numbers of fish in the ponds were decreasing and started suspecting Shoombe. His suspicions were confirmed on Tuesday when two women told him they saw Shoombe carrying a bag full of fish.
The project manager noted that this was not the first time Shoombe stole from them, as last week he was found selling spinach and he admitted that he stole it from the project.
With this information, Simasiku went to search for Shoombe at his house in the Ileni informal settlement on Tuesday.
“I saw him carrying a bag of fish and when he saw me he ran away. I searched for him and found him under a bed at a friend’s house with the fish. So, I brought him to the police just to report the case and later told him that he is fired,” he said.
Simasiku decided not to lay a charge of theft against Shoombe because he is old, but to just get rid of him and employ someone else, since “he (Shoombe) started biting the hand that feeds him”.
“I think he has been stealing a lot of fish and we just realised it now as the number of fish is declining,” the project manager said.
Chief Inspector Niikodemus Nampala of the Namibian Police Force (Nampol) here confirmed to Nampa on Tuesday that a report of theft was presented to their office, but no charges were laid.
The Keetmanshoop fish project keeps tilapia fish and also grows cabbage, spinach and other vegetables.
It is run by the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in collaboration with the Keetmanshoop Urban Constituency office.