The Inspector-General of the Namibian police, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, has warned that any police officer found guilty of assisting trial-awaiting prisoners to escape from lawful custody will be immediately discharged from office.
Ndeitunga told New Era a number of jailbreaks have been carried out with the assistance of police officers. He said this is embarrassing and tarnishing the image of law enforcement. Holding cells are built to be escape proof and the only way a suspect can escape is either with direct assistance from an officer or due to police negligence, he said.
Based on media reports, this year alone over 20 prisoners escaped from police holding cells and in most cases, they escaped with assistance of police officers.
The biggest prisonbreak this year took place at Ohangwena police holding cells when 10 men escaped from custody. Most of them were re-arrested though within hours of their daring escape.
Yesterday morning, Nine ‘Nnaini’ Masule, widely considered a dangerous criminal, was also re-arrested near the Angola/Namibia border shortly after he escaped from lawful custody at Divundu Rehabilitation Centre.
“I have given orders to all regional commanders, for through investigation to be carried out in these cases and if any police officer is found guilty of assisting suspected criminals, they will be fired. This is embarrassing to the police,” said Ndeitunga.
Apart from the 10 escapees from Ohangwena police holding cells, four from Omusati and one from Katima, two other incidents were reported in March in Bethanie and Katima and one in September, when three suspects escaped from the holding cells at Gobabis.