The Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) has cautioned farmers against harbouring unlicensed weapons and especially ammunition, for which they do not have a licensed weapon.
The NAU says all its members are advised to make 100 percent certain that their weapons are licensed and that – in light of the hunting season now open – no ammunition is left on farms, by hunters for example, for which the relevant NAU member does not have a licensed weapon.
Three farmers were arrested and appeared in court in recent weeks over the illegal possession of weapons.
Norman Alexander Campbell, 54, was arrested recently at his farm, Capricorn, after the police found the 201 rounds of ammunition. He became the third farmer from the Otjozondjupa Region to be arrested on related charges.
Johannes Mostert, 53, who faces a charge of possession of assault weapons without a licence was denied bail in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate’s Court.
Another farmer, Willem Maritz, 60, from Hochfeld appeared in Okahandja Magistrate’s Court in February on charges of threatening, pointing a firearm at his farmworker, as well as possession of firearms and ammunition without a valid licence. He was though released on bail of N$4 000.
The NAU caution comes hot on the heels of Safety and Security Minister Charles Namholoh’s expressed concern over the excessive accumulation and uncontrolled use of small arms and light weapons, both in urban and rural areas.
“The large number of armed civilian population is another concern which usually results in the abuse of firearms,” Namholo was quoted as saying in Walvis Bay recently.
In 2010, Namibia was among the SADC member countries that benefited from a US State Department donation of a complete mobile system for marking firearms. At the time ten police officers were trained in effective utilisation of the said system.