Over 20 members of Windhoek City Police, who are former members of the South West Africa Police (Swapol), have accused City Police Chief Abraham Kanime of sidelining them when it comes to promotions to the advantage of new recruits.
They say they have served the force since its inception in 2006 with “due diligence” but have not received any promotions.
“Kanime is practicing favouritism and nepotism in the force. He has sidelined us, because we are former South West African police officers,” a member, who spoke on behalf of aggrieved fellow officers, remarked.
“He has shifted us to departments where we do petty duties, such as cleaning. He only promotes friends and relatives from one ethnic group who are mainly Oshiwambo-speaking, which is his tribe. We want an investigation launched into the matter with urgency. We are tired of being victimised.”
In an interview with New Era yesterday, Kanime said he is not aware of any forms of discrimination in the force. An investigation into allegations of corruption against Kanime and his top brass was launched last year, but its outcome was not made public.
The investigation was triggered by a series of letters written to the City of Windhoek by aggrieved City Police officials.
The allegations levelled against the top brass of the City Police by the irate officers range from widespread cronyism, misuse of public funds, employing top officials with questionable pasts, dodgy qualifications, victimisation of officials who are not towing the line of the top brass, and appointments based on tribal affinity.
“I don’t discuss personal matters in terms of our policies with the media. If they feel sidelined or victimised, we are in a country where we courts. We have the Ombudsman and the Anti-Corruption Commission,” a defiant Kanime said yesterday.
“This is typical rubbish. To me, if they are professional police officers, then they should go to the established institutions. Those years, there were a lot of writings, insults… My answer to those claims is that it’s totally rubbish.”
He, however, said, he is aware of a certain group in the force who want to see the back of him. “There is no corruption, no nepotism and favouritism in the force. I remember those years, those people insulted me by going to the media. There is a specific group behind it that I know in the force,” he said.
Asked how promotions are effected, he said: “It is not Kanime who is doing the promotions.” According to him, there is a committee that looks into and recommends promotions.
“People are promoted based on their ability and commitment to do work. It’s not Kanime doing promotions, it’s a team. We have a system at work and to say it’s only Ovambos – but I fail to understand. You should perform to be promoted.
“The other time, they took some names of Wambos and took it to the media. I don’t know what’s wrong with these people. Any person who brought such issues to the media doesn’t fit to be a member of the security agency,” he remarked.