Windhoek-National Council Chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams has called on politicians who receive VIP protection to be courteous to police officers assigned to protect them.
Mensah-Williams complained that some politicians do not even bother to greet police bodyguards assigned to them, let alone extend them something to eat or drink.
Mensah-Williams, who is also the councillor of Khomasdal North Constituency, was speaking at the opening of the Otjomuise Police Station last week.
“Some of us in leadership positions are abusing those men and women in uniform and we should stop those practices. I recall one year there was a call by parliamentarians because the police didn’t salute them (parliamentarians) when they passed by. And I said so what? What is a salute? Did you parliamentarians even greet those people protecting us – they are protecting some of us as VIPs at our houses,” said Mensah-Williams.
“We don’t mind about them. We even remove the plug when they put on the heater – we don’t see to it that there are ablution facilities. We don’t give them something to eat or drink. We don’t even greet them when we pass. Yes, I want to be courageous enough to say that – but everyday we are knocking on the door of the inspector-general complaining about who and who.”
Media reports in the past carried stories of VIP police officers complaining about being ill-treated by parliamentarians, diplomats, ministers and even some of the children of high-ranking officials.
In an article by New Era, VIP police officers detailed alleged abuse experienced by them with some saying they are shouted at for no apparent reason as if they are small children. “Even some of these ministers’ children don’t respect us anymore, because of the way their parents treat us,” the article read.
Mensah-Williams commented that protection police officers drive politicians, give them protection services so politicians should be thankful because those police officers are making sure they are alive and well.
The Inspector-General of the Namibian Police, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, said Mensah-Williams’ remarks ought to sensitise politicians, ministers, diplomats and all those who receive police protection to be courteous to police officers. “It goes on down to the members of society to respect police officers at VIP houses,” he said.
Ndeitunga added that there was a time when there were no ablution facilities allocated to police officers at the homes of VIPs but conditions have since changed.
“These days I don’t receive any complaints. It seems things have improved – if there is anything in that regard it didn’t reach me,” responded Ndeitunga.