Cops Stick to Their Guns

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Despite some shebeen owners spending two cold nights outside the Municipality of Walvis Bay in protest against the police “No Shebeen Operation” campaigns last week, the police will continue with the operation. The Deputy Police Commissioner in the Erongo Region, Andrew Iyambo said the operations would continue until the current law is repealed. Speaking to New Era last Friday, Iyambo said the exercise will continue and more sheebens will be closed. He said last Wednesday two shebeens were closed down at Arandis and also another two at Henties Bay. Commenting on the demonstration, Iyambo indicated that laws are made in parliament and he possessed no power to change the current Liquor Act. “The operation will continue. We do not want any unlicensed sheebens,” he stated. The communications officer of the Municipality of Walvis Bay, Nolita Marques said more than 200 people gathered outside the municipality on Wednesday and Thursday and about 50 spent two nights there. Though this was regarded as a sign of protest, the communications officer indicated that the municipality at the town maintained its stand, adding that this was an action by the police and the municipality had nothing to do with it. Protestors were adamant that they wanted sheebens to be re-opened and all the confiscated liquor be returned to the rightful owners. Iyambo declined to reveal the quantity of liquor confiscated since the start of the operation, indicating that could only be done once those implicated have appeared in court. Walvis Bay has over 400 sheebens and the majority of them are illegal. Last week, Deputy Commissioner Iyambo said due to so many sheebens at the town, constructive development such as the building of pre-primary schools have failed. “Almost every second house in Kuisebmund has a shebeen,” he stated. The mushrooming of these illegal alcohol outlets has promoted other forms of crime at the town. “We are just following the Liquor Act and we will continue to regulate sheebens,” he warned. The president of the Namibia Shebeen Association Veripi Kandenge yesterday said the police could continue with their operations though he warned that the association might take the police to court. “There is injustice being done against shebeen owners in this country,” he said, adding that most of the demonstrators depended on shebeens for a livelihood. “If the police continue, we will withdraw our children from schools and for those in the regions, they will take them to the governors to support them. Those who are here will be taken to state house to take care of them,” Kandenge said.

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