In a bitter twist of irony, churches have been lumped together with shebeens and street vendors, as being among the root causes of social evil in Okuryangava.
This was said by residents of the Tobias Hainyeko Constituency during a community meeting held at the Onkugo Yepongo Community Hall on Saturday.
“Churches are bringing a lot of problems. Municipality is just signing papers (fitness certificates) to allow them to work but those churches are bringing a lot of problems,” remarked resident Tuyoleni Andreas.
He was responding to pleas by other community members for the City of Windhoek to curb criminal activities in the area.
Andreas observed that there are too many churches and not all of them are genuine in their intent and in their operations.
“There are too many churches and from there comes a lot of nonsense,” remarked Andreas. City of Windhoek Councillor Fransina Kahungu responded that the City of Windhoek only issues fitness certificates while approvals of churches are made at the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development. City Police, she added, is not as equipped as the Namibian Police Force in terms of resources to fight criminal activities.
Kahungu, however, noted that Inspector Christina Fonsech of the Namibian Police Force is committed to fighting against troublesome churches in the community.
“If a church is troubling you, report them to the Namibian Police [Force],” said Kahungu.
In addition, the loud music and operating hours of shebeens in the area came under the spotlight.
“The abuse of alcohol and drugs are the root causes of murders and all societal evils,” remarked a community member.
Kahungu urged parents to be examplary to their children by refraining from excessively consuming alcohol and misbehaving in front of their children. Kahungu asked residents to notify the City Police when they observe a shebeen that is operating the “whole night”. “And who are the people at the shebeens? It’s our children,” remarked Kahungu, who urged residents to enforce discipline on their children.
“Parents, we should be careful of how we behave in front of our children. A house with no rules is a poor house,” Kahungu further remarked.
Andreas also said street vendors, especially those who sell fruits and vegetables on street corners, encourage criminal activities as they attract thieves.
“Selling on the streets is one of the reasons why there are criminal activities. There are people selling on the road pavements at street corners, especially apples. I don’t even know if those people have permits to sell at street corners. I’m calling on the municipality, especially City Police to remove people selling apples on the streets. They should find other forms of businesses to do,” commented Andreas.