Farmer’s Arrest Linked to Tribal Clashes?

0
19

By Kuvee Kangueehi WINDHOEK The Aminuis police on Friday morning arrested 52-year-old farmer Tjiuma Kamberipa. By late yesterday it was however not clear whether the arrest is linked to the tribal clashes that occurred in Aminuis almost three weeks ago, when a man was shot to death under mysterious circumstances. The arrest follows weeks of investigations by a team of top detectives who were dispatched to the area to determine the death of Theboy Hiiho who was fatally shot during the clashes. Kamberipa, a former soldier in the then South African Defence Force (SADF), was arrested after police found a number of firearms at his house at Otjiungukua in the Aminuis constituency. A close family member told New Era yesterday that the police last week Thursday visited the residence of Kamberipa after a tip-off from an Aminuis resident that Kamberipa stored arms at his house. The family member said when the police arrived on Thursday morning at Kambripa’s residence, a labourer informed them that Kamberipa was in Windhoek. The police allegedly contacted Kamberipa telephonically and informed him about their intention to search his premises. The relative said Kamberipa pleaded with the police to wait for him and not to enter his house without him being present. However, the police allegedly made a forced entry and found three pistols with licenses and an unlicensed R1 rifle which they confisticated. The family member further said that the police took the pistols apparently to conduct ballistic tests on them to determine when they were last used and whether their bullets match the one that killed Hiiho. After consulting his lawyer in Windhoek, he surrendered himself to the police at Gobabis and is expected to appear in court today. New Era however could not confirm or establish the nature of the charges against Kamberipa as enquiries with a number of police officials involved in the case proved futile. The Police Operations Commander in Omaheke, Chief Inspector Pax Mwanawina, informed this reporter that he had forwarded all information regarding the case to the public relations department in Windhoek and was not at liberty to speak to the media. However, Chief Inspector Hieronymus Goraseb, who is head of the Public Relations Division of the Namibian Police, said he had not received any information and had no credit on his mobile phone to call Mwanawina. The latter also claimed he had no credit to call Goraseb to brief him about the case. The police at the time claimed that someone from the community killed Hiiho after he was caught in crossfire between the police and some community members. However, some members of the community blamed the police for having fired the fatal shot that killed Hiiho. The tribal clashes in Aminuis were sparked by community member who decided to stop a traditional councillor Ewald Kazongominja and his followers from officially opening an office and hoisting the red flag. More than 500 Aminuis community members attacked the traditional councillor and about 50 of his followers, but the timely intervention of the police minimized casualties. However, a wave of criminal activities such as stock theft and damage to property took place with the Kazongominja supporters being the victims.