The Namibian Police Force has discharged 123 of its members due to various transgressions, including being found guilty of criminal offences and long absence from work without a valid explanation.
In terms of discharges stemming from convictions in criminal cases, 16 police officers were dismissed from work during the 2014/2015 financial year, while another 11 were discharged during 2015/2016.
This was revealed by Police Deputy Inspector-General Desderious Ireneus Shilunga in an interview with New Era on Monday. He said 51 officers were discharged during 2014/15 compared to the 45 discharged during the 2015/16 financial year, stemming from long absence from duty.
The police officers were discharged in terms of section 8 (1) of the Police Act, 1990 (Act No. 19 of 1990) as amended, which emanates from convictions in criminal cases and long absence (a continuous period exceeding 30 days).
Last year, the police suspended 40 of its members due to various reasons, including internal misconduct and abuse of power.
The Police Act states that discharge or reduction in rank of members can take place on account of inefficiency, and that a member may be discharged from the force or reduced in rank by the inspector-general if, after enquiry by a board of enquiry in the prescribed manner as to his or her fitness to remain in the force or to retain his or her rank, the inspector-general is of the opinion he or she is incapable of performing his or her duties efficiently.
Equally, the same Act stipulates that discharge can be effected if a member absents himself or herself from his or her official duties without the permission of the inspector-general for a continuous period exceeding 30 days. The member shall be deemed to have been discharged from the force on account of misconduct with effect from the date immediately following upon the last day on which he or she was present at his or her place of duty.
Just this year alone, the Anti-Corruption Commission picked up four Namibian police officers from the human resources department, including the head of the department, commissioner Abed Kashihakumwa.
Kashihakumwa was arrested with the other three officers – chief inspector Nikanor Ashipala Tweumuna, inspector Anna Maria Klaudia Angula, and an administrative assistant, Sakaria Ashipala.
They are facing charges of corruptly using an office or position for gratification, for using a false document as well as for corruptly employing Kashihakumwa’s brother-in-law in the force.
Kashihakumwa who appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura was granted N$5 000 bail, while the case was postponed to August 25.
The others are also out on bail
Tweumuna is accused of corruptly using an office or position for gratification and for using a false document, while Angula is charged for corruptly using an office or position as gratification, for using a false document and for deleting information stored in a computer relating to the recruitment process
Ashipala is accused of giving a false application form for employment with false information as well as a false certificate of good conduct.
To date Ashipala who is alleged to be the brother-in-law of Kashihakumwa, is still employed in the police force.
Meanwhile, early this year, two police constables were arrested for allegedly being part of a gang of five law enforcement agents who robbed a Chinese-owned shop in Katutura. They appeared in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court on a charge of armed robbery.
The two police officers who were denied bail are Salatiel Paulus and Daniel Hangula.