Windhoek – Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has threatened to dismiss from the force lazy, drunk and criminal-minded police officers, saying they are tarnishing the force’s reputation.
Ndeitunga also threatened to dismiss officers who might find themselves guilt of sleeping on duty.
Ndeitunga was equally unimpressed with investigation officers who took months, if not years, to complete investigations despite receiving training in that area. The police chief also asked officers to improve their service delivery, after receiving complaints from members of the public about poor service, ill-disciplined officers, lack of courtesy and bossy officers at the charge office.
“I was given orders by the President [Hage Geingob] to root them out. We should clean the force from lazy, criminal police officers who are wrongly amongst ourselves tarnishing the image of the force.”
“You know them. Drunkards, lazy, criminal-minded officers in the force are tarnishing the image of all of us. And the time is now. As we are dealing with criminals in our society we should also deal with criminal police officers amongst ourselves,” he said during the opening of the police central logistic warehouse in Northern Industria last week.
A week before, President Geingob during the inauguration of the new police station at Omuthiya ordered the immediate removal of dishonest and criminally minded police officers. Geingob said such rotten apples do not deserve to be in the armed forced.
Following Geingob’s orders, Ndeitunga said he will pass the President’s instructions down the hierarchy to his commanders and supervisors to deal with such officers.
“You have to deal with ill-disciplined and lazy police officers. The instructions by the President are clear and the power vested in the Inspector-General by the constitution and the Police Act is clear on how to deal with criminals. Enough is enough,” he stated.
Ndeitunga also told officers in the charge offices to change their attitude towards members of the public and politely render services as they are in public offices.
“Instead of an officer saying ‘welcome madam or sir, what can we do for you, can we assist, have you been assisted already?’ the constable will ask, ‘what are you looking for? Can’t you see I am busy? Do you want me to divide myself into two pieces?’. You see constables becoming bosses in the charge office. Those are not our offices, those are public offices. We were put there to render services,” stated Ndeitunga.
In addition, Ndeitunga demandedthe improvement of service. He said a survey was done by the Office of the Prime Minister, which rated the police poorly. He stated that this is because of poor services in some regions, at police stations and some roadblocks.
Furthermore, he said he was unimpressed when he visited a roadblock around 04:00 and found officers on duty sleeping and snoring.
“I took the photos and circulated them. Sleeping on duty is a misconduct and I can dismiss you. The same way I recruited you is the same way I can fire you. This is not a joke. Police officers and uniforms have unique discipline and behaviour,” stated Ndeitunga.