Selma Ikela and Maria Amakali
WINDHOEK – Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Force Sebastian Ndeitunga this week asked how come 12 police vehicles later reported to a murder scene in Rundu, where five people were killed, yet the same police could not prevent the killings, citing lack of transport.
He made the remarks while reflecting on the incident wherein five members of a Rundu family were killed after the police were twice notified that a young man was acting violently towards other people in the house.
Even when the caller showed up at the station for the second time to get a police report so that she may get treated at hospital after she was assaulted, officers at the station still did not bother to go to the house.
Hours later, five members of that family, including three minors, were mercilessly bludgeoned to death. The police have since been in the spotlight, accused of inefficiency and lack of basic professionalism.
“If the constables at the station knew there was no car, why didn’t they inform their superiors that there was a situation like that so that other plans could be made,” an irate Lieutenant-General Ndeitunga said.
“What if these were your family members killed in this way after they had sought assistance. Go to Facebook and see how the nation is up in arms over this matter.”
“It is sad that after the [killings] twelve cars attended to the scene. Twelve cars. Where were they? When people were alive, there was no car. After they were killed, twelve cars were available.”
There are reports that those involved in the Rundu police debacle could lose their jobs.
Ndeitunga, a troubled man following the ineptitude of police officers in the Rundu and other cases, says some criminals get away scot-free or are not being prosecuted because of shoddy police investigations.
He was addressing the Khomas regional police on matters regarding poor service delivery, ill-discipline and their ineptitude to fight crime that is spiralling out of control.
Ndeitunga explained that the criminal justice system is comprised of four legs, with the police being the first.
“If the first leg of the criminal justice system does not do its job properly, it will affect the whole system. The courts can only work if there are cases to be trialled and the prosecutor-general’s office can only work if there are cases to be prosecuted, or not. But those cases should be submitted by the police,” remarked Ndeitunga.
He said if the prosecutor-general decides to arraign a person in court, the court should be provided with the necessary information, compiled by the police and shared with the prosecution, for the court to impartially decide whether a person is guilty or not.
In the same vein, Ndeitunga also lashed out at police officers who constantly take leave after payday. He said these officers are not serving the nation, and being absent puts pressure on their colleagues. “A shift of five officers will probably be three. Don’t you know how much pressure you are putting on those on duty?” Ndeitunga asked rhetorically.
Ndeitunga further warned officers who work in cahoots with criminals and receive payments from them that their days are numbered. He said such officers are embarrassing the police and the nation. He said the lack of police visibility in Khomas has contributed to the high incidents of criminal activities in the region, giving the example of the notorious gang ‘Boko Haram’ that is terrorising Katutura residents.