By Anna Ingwafa
THREE hundred and fifty Namibian Police recruits who underwent a sixth-month basic training course at the Ondangua Police Training Centre, last Friday graduated at the Oshakati Independence Stadium.
The head of the Training Directorate Commissioner Desiderius Irenius Shilunga reminded graduates that policing is not just a career but a calling for which one should be prepared to sacrifice, even if it means one’s own life.
The aim of the training, according to Shilunga, was to mould young recruits but also old serving members who did not previously have the opportunity to be trained as police officers. It was also meant to provide them with the knowledge and skills on policing in a democratic society while observing the principle of the rule of law.
Shilunga reported to the Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga that the training achieves its objectives through these subjects – basic law with the emphasis on the Constitution and other statutory laws as well as criminal law, the Criminal Procedure Act, police science, law of evidence, basic human rights, police functions, skill at arms, drill, physical trai-ning and traffic law.
He said that he had no doubt that the graduands would be able to transform the theoretical knowledge and basic skills they acquired during the training to practical use.
“I am also sure that they are determined and committed to the fulfillment of their national duty and core functions of the Namibian Police. This was evident in the energy and zeal with they endured training as well as their performance on parade so far.
“I am today proud as the principal trainer in the police and would gladly say that these members are ready to serve the Namibian nation in any corner of this country without any fear or favours,” said Shilunga.
The commissioner noted that the number of graduates may not completely solve the problem of the shortage of manpower in the force, but believes that they will make a positive contribution and have an impact on the available human resources and subsequently ensure productivity and quality service delivery to the public at large.
At the ceremony Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga said that the graduation is an achievement of the Namibian Police Force and a culmination of a training programme aimed at both injecting new blood in the ranks of Nampol and upgrading the knowledge and skills of the members of the force.
He told the new recruits that they must be aware of the noble and daunting task which lies ahead and be prepared for the connected challenges.
“Among other duties, you will be expected to defend the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia, especially its provisions regarding the protection of lives and properties. This includes, inter alia, the protection of life, personal liberty, dignity and equality of all persons. Therefore, you are duty-bound to arrest and detain, where necessary, and bring culprits to court within 48 hours after their arrest,” said Ndeitunga.
He ensured them that it is their constitutional duty to guarantee that such actions are in harmony with the constitutional requirements, which prohibit arbitrary arrest or detention and call for police officers to inform promptly the suspects in the language they understand of the ground for such arrest. The requirements also call for suspects to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
He cautioned police officers to treat people of different political parties equally. “The fundamental human rights enshrined in the constitution also provide for the right for all citizens to participate in, among others, political activities aimed at influencing the composition and policies of the government. However, I must emphasise that such right should be exercised with caution by political officers as we members of the force are expected to treat all people in an apolitical and non-partisan manner. Therefore, the display of our political inclinations in the conduct of our duty is prohibited,” warns Ndeitunga.
Ndeitunga made a call to them that they should not violate any person’s right but operate within the law.
He reminded them to listen to constructive criticism by the public when advising them on service delivery but not to malicious ones. “You should never be cowed into submission by those who maliciously may call you derogatory names, just because you have provided an impartial and objective service to our people regardless of their political inclinations or social status or any other considerations.”
The lieutenant general said that criminals continue trying to manoeuver, out-pace and frustrate policing strategies. Therefore the police force should be comprised of competent and professional officers, who are ready to carry out their assigned duties.
He explained to the recruits that it is only through dedication, loyalty, honesty, discipline and unwavering commitment that they will succeed: “I expect you to emulate the good example of your colleagues who joined the ranks of the force before you. Our police officers should be obedient to standing rules, regulations, orders and instructions. Discipline results in high professional standards and competencies in any uniformed organisation. Be warned that the Namibian Police only accommodates disciplined members to provide a quality service, not people of questionable character.”
He called on them to safeguard the peace and stability of the nation.
Students who performed outstandingly were rewarded: Best student Constable Patrick Kambonge; three best, academic – constable students Daniel Lilata, Johanna Nyundu and John Katanga; best drill – Biata Garises and Nauta Lameck; best physical fitness – Memorin Kupesara and Shiweda Solom.