By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK NAMIBIAN President Hifikepunye Pohamba has hailed the Namibian Police for their swift action in arresting six of the seven suspects that were involved in the Woermann Brock Store robbery a week ago. Pohamba said he was proud of the police and warned criminals that the force was under orders to shot anybody who tried to shoot at them. The Head of State made these remarks at the Namibia Police Day celebration last week Thursday. The Namibian Police celebrated their 15th anniversary at the Israel Patrick Iyambo Police College. The national police were supposed to celebrate the day on Saturday November 26, which is the official police day but due to “unforeseen circumstances” the celebration was delayed until last week Thursday, December 8. Pohamba at the occasion said it was an honour and privilege for him to officiate at the 15th anniversary commemoration of the Namibian Police. ” I was the first Minister of Home Affairs after the achievement of the country’s independence and I was therefore closely involved in the establishment of the Namibian Police.” The President added that the then new police force, which replaced the South West Africa Police or Swapol, started its law enforcement functions as soon as the new Government was sworn in. ” The establishment of a national police force was not an easy task, as we had just emerged from an era of conflict, repression and oppression, in which the police were extensively used by the apartheid regime to suppress our people’s yearning and struggle for freedom and independence.” The commander of all the defence forces of Namibia said he had to convince Namibians that the police under the Swapo Party Government would be a force for peace, safety and security, and that it would be responsive to the needs of the nation in the area of policing at all times. ” The members of the police force at the time were largely those who had served in Swapol, Koevoet, a few from the South West Africa Territorial Force (SWATF) and cadres of the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (Plan). The new police had to transform them into a cohesive body of men and women who could understand the needs of policing in a democratic society.” The day was also a special one in the sense that it was the first time that President Pohamba, Minister of Safety and Security Peter Tsheehama and Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga attended the event since taking office this year. The President also conferred medals on some members of the force before the main programme was concluded. Of the ministers and deputy ministers who attended the occasion were Minister of Defence Charles Namoloh, and Deputy of Safety and Security Gabes Shihepo. The Governor of Khomas Region also attended the event. Although the main event was celebrated in Windhoek, other regions too commemorated the day. In its 16th session of 2002, the Namibian Cabinet resolved to declare November 26, Namibian Police Day. It is the day on which the former President Sam Nujoma officially signed the Police Act into law, giving the Namibian Police the indispensable statutory framework for proper discharge in its mission. The Namibian Police have since made it an annual practice to commemorate the day countrywide.
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