By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK Serious allegations of corrupt practices were made on Monday against the Namibian Police in the South to a visiting Parliamentary delegation during a heated and hectic public meeting at Kalkrand. This was yesterday telephonically confirmed by the Speaker of the National Assembly, Theo-Ben Gurirab, who is heading the delegation on a community outreach programme on the activities of the National Assembly in the South. “It was a serious, heated and hectic debate at which the local police were present, but did not participate. Kalkrand community members informed the delegation that they have to pay the police transport expenses for after hours complaints. This is indeed a very serious charge, indicating that the police at the town are indulging in criminal and corrupt activities,” said Gurirab. According to the Speaker, the delegation was told that the police station at Kalkrand daily closes at 13h00 and any transport costs for complaints have to be borne by the complainant. “These are very serious charges against the police, who are in my opinion there to save lives and fight crime. These actions are definitely criminal and corrupt police actions,” said Gurirab. He further stated that poverty, water and electricity provision, unemployment, AIDS and the redistribution of land are some of the most pressing problems and issues the people in the South are struggling with. “I got a very strong and distinct sense that the people of the South are very unhappy and demand to be more directly recognized, acknowledged and involved in all government decisions taken on their behalf, especially with the land issue,” said the Speaker. He noted that the people of especially the Hardap Region have also vehemently complained about the housing shortage and the unavailability of land plots. “Presently, only those with money can afford residential plots, others cannot afford it. The poorest of the poor have no chance whatsoever to ever be in a financial position to acquire these erven in some towns. They feel that more affordable land needs to be made available to the ordinary citizens of the South,” said the Speaker, who will be in Karas and Hardap until next Tuesday. Thus far, the delegation has visited Rehoboth, Kalkrand, Hoachanas, Stampriet and Aranos. “People have been complaining about the provision of cheaper water tariffs in view of the availability of a huge source of underground water. They have the water, but not the equipment and infrastructure to exploit it. The same complaint was highlighted about the provision of electricity,” Gurirab said. According to him, the Southerners feel exploited by Nampower’s electricity fees. “These RED companies that Nampower has introduced is a big bone of contention. The people feel they are unfairly treated with regard to the high fees they have to pay on a monthly basis. Something concrete has to be done about this state of affairs,” said the Speaker, who promised that a report on the findings will be submitted to the National Assembly for discussion and consideration when the House resumes on September 13. MPs Ida Hoffman, Hansina Christiaans and Elma Dienda are accompanying the Speaker on the trip.
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