Operation Omake is too romantic a name

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Against the backdrop of the spate of killings that have befallen the country lately, no measure against these devilish crimes can be too small, or too big and/or enough and sufficient.

That is why one cannot but welcome the bold steps that the authorities in the capital have taken, and which are going to be rolled out in due course to all regions. Needless to say, such measures must eventually reach out to the regions, as intended and planned.

It is gratifying and indeed a commendable act to see and hear various government agencies joining forces to combat the scourge of especially the killing of women and girls, which has been making our communities and society at large unsafe and have rendered us a people living under siege.

It is also not only gratifying, but also really reassuring to hear that an inter-agency committee, led by the Ministry of Safety and Security comprising the Ministry of Defense, the National Intelligence Agency and the City of Windhoek Police, has been established to spearhead the efforts of combatting first and foremost, the crimes at hand.

But ultimately efforts must be directed at determining the underlying causes and addressing the root causes, rather than treating the symptoms – which is what the killings actually are – and may provide pointers to more serious underlying causes.

One gathers from the mayor of the City of Windhoek that City Police, in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies, have intensified crime prevention operations entailing patrols 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as well as the installation of CCTV cameras.

Not to mention the good news of the installation of solar-powered streetlights and the plan to acquire additional floodlights for installation at crime-prone areas. It is also highly reassuring to local residents to hear that the City of Windhoek has made public safety a high priority and a major focus of the Windhoek City Police.

Certainly, if such good intentions are carried out, persistently and consistently, soon the city would be a much safer place to live and work in. There’s no doubt that such intensified safety can have ripple effects in terms of creating a better and conducive business environment, which may lead to more businesses, more jobs and prosperity, thereby probably ensuring a complete reversal of the high level of criminality that the city has been experiencing in recent times.

However, as the law enforcement agencies are poised to make the city a much safer place to live and work in, certainly every resident and visitor alike must bring her/his due in terms of helping where she/he can. Yes, the days when the city and the country at large are crime-free may be far away, but it is not an impossible and unattainable goal if we all make our contribution to help the law enforcement agencies.

One thing that must be appreciated by all and sundry is that the operations that the law enforcement agencies have embarked upon, must surely come at a cost. The pros and cons may not be evident now, but surely the opportunity cost must be there, because the resources that are going to be expended on these operations could ordinarily have been applied to other more deserving needs.

That is why the role of each and every resident and/or visitor to the city is cardinal, especially in terms of law abidance, so that scarce resources are spent and diverted to where they are needed more. Those who are involved in crimes are not only from our homes, but after such crimes our homes usually become their safe hide-outs.

Thus, each resident and citizen owes the city and country the duty of helping. Firstly, by ensuring that our children are brought up the proper way so as not to become criminals; that they are discouraged from engaging in any criminal activities and – if unfortunately they engage in any crimes – they face the full wrath of the law, instead of offering them a safe haven in our homes.

So let us – together with our law enforcement agencies – put hands to the plough for what obviously cannot be an easy and quick fix, but a long haul.

One cannot but have full confidence in the efforts of the police. The only question is why give such a serious operation of such magnitude – which is a matter of life and death given that mothers and girls are being slayed – such a romantic and glamorous name as ‘omake’? There is as yet certainly no reason for omake!

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