Police Threatened to ‘Wipe Out’ Aminuis – Charge

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek One of the warring parties in the tribal clashes at Aminuis last weekend has accused the Namibian police of ill-treating them. The spokesperson of the Kavari Traditional Authority, Attie Riruako, said the police intimidated them, threatened to wipe them out and indiscriminately shot at them. Addressing a press conference yesterday, Riruako said the police threatened to bring the whole army to deal with the Aminuis community. “The commander of the police said, ‘You the Aminuis people want to secede from Namibia, is Muyongo around here?'” Riruako said the police took over and rampaged, and closed shops and hit passers-by with rifle-butts. “The police shot at fleeing citizens as if they had challenged them by fleeing.” Riruako also accused the police of shooting the 25-year-old man who died during the clashes. According to him, members of the community driving two cars went to the place where the ceremony was going to take place and the car made a sharp U-turn. At that point, the deceased fell off the car. He stood up and as he was dashing back to the vehicle, he was shot. Riruako further noted that there were eyewitnesses to the incident who were prepared to testify. Riruako said the cause of the violent clashes in Aminuis was that traditional authorities, recognized by the government, are imposing leaders on communities without consultation and the wishes of the affected communities. “In many cases, the communities in these traditional settlements would complain and even petition the government against the impositions, but all in vain.” He said while they appreciate the appointment of traditional councillors as defined by the traditional authorities’ provisions, they equally understand the discontent by traditional communities when they feel that their rights to choose whom they want are suppressed. “The government must be sensitive to these feelings by local communities, if our commitment and drive to sustain reconciliation is to last.” At the press conference Jonathan Katjimune announced that the late Theboy Hiiho who died in last weekend’s clashes would be accorded a hero’s funeral by the Ovaherero Traditional Authority. He noted that after consultation with the Ovaherero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako, the Ovaherero Traditional Authority decided to bury Hiiho at Okahandja on Saturday morning. Katjimune said arrangements are being made to accord Hiiho the respect that he deserves. Responding to the allegations, police spokesman Chief Inspector Amulungu said the Inspector General of the Namibia Police had instituted an investigating team to look at the role played by the police in the clashes. The investigating team is headed by a senior police officer from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The team has already left for Aminuis. Amulungu added that the followers of Chief Kavari are at liberty to go and lay charges against those that they accuse of threatening them and shooting indiscriminately at civilians.