ONGWEDIVA – More and more criminals have now taken to posing as job seekers, in a stratagem to rob unsuspecting employers and prospective employers.
Job seekers usually gather under a tree close to the entrance of the offices of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) in Oshakati, however this has now become a hot spot for criminals who mingle with genuine job seekers, waiting for potential victims. Some residents have taken it upon themselves to warn others through national radio and the languague service of the NBC about such people. Some of the criminals even use stolen identity cards and fake names to look for jobs.
“Those people use different tactics. Some pretend to be good people, but while they are working they stay in contact with other criminals by giving them information about all the movements of the owners of the house and other family members,” said Jason Amutenya from Ongwediva. Amutenya said only two months ago, he employed a woman as a domestic worker. Within two weeks of her employment, Amutenya’s house was broken into in broad daylight.
A few days later, evidence started pointing to the woman, but she disappeared when she realised that they were on to her, according to Amutenya. He later discovered the woman had provided him with a false name and she had also lied about the village she comes from. “We used to call her by the name Naemi, but later our friend’s domestic worker told us that she met her before at the NBC tree but she was known as Cornelia,” said Amutenya.
German Shiponeni told New Era that last year he employed a young man as a cattle herder following an announcement he made over the radio. The young man allegedly told him that his name was Petrus Erasmus (18). The information was also supported by the identity document, which is still in Shiponeni’s possession. One day, the young man allegedly broke into Shiponeni’s bedroom and stole money. He also threatened to stab Shiponeni’s son, who caught him in the act. Four months later a woman approached Shiponeni, fuming and looking for her younger brother.
The woman claimed that her brother was still only 16, and could therefore not be employed. She also brought with her the young man’s real identity document bearing the name Erastus Nghihekwa. “I don’t know how they learnt that I was that young man’s former employer, but that family kept calling and threatening me that I was responsible for their son’s disappearance. I went to the police for help but at the same time I asked a person from that family’s village to be on the lookout for me.
“But before the police could trace him, my source told me that the boy was at home. I also learnt that that family is not an honest family and the whole thing was probably stage-managed. I was shocked because that family never came to me to tell me they found their son. I called that boy’s mother to the police station so that we could settle everything there,” said Shiponeni.
It is further claimed that some of the job seekers are Angolan nationals, who disappear into Angola soon after they commit a crime in Namibia.
Last year an ELCIN retired pastor, Reverend Gabriel Abitar (71) was found dead at his cattle post after he was killed and robbed of his car. The car was found abandoned a few metres from his lifeless body. It is believed that the suspect tried to get away with the vehicle, but he didn’t know how to drive.
A cattle herder who worked for him was suspected to be the murderer and was arrested miles away from the cattle post. Sergeant Tomas Aiyambo of the Oshana police says such incidents are usually not reported directly to the police, but he is aware that they happen. Aiyambo said Angolans are not supposed to work in Namibia, unless they are in possession of a valid work permit.