By Clemence Tashaya
A well known businessman and politician was beaten, robbed and stabbed with a knife in the stomach when a gang of criminals pounced on him daylight.
Mr. Robert Sililo, the Director of Zenith Training College in Katima Mulilo who is also an outspoken politician who was robbed off a plate of “pap” and a cellphone in a robbery on the 28th May 2010.
He narrated his unfortunate incident to the Caprivi Vision recently that he was robbed daylight when he was from Greenwell Matongo on his way to his college.
“These well known criminals pounced on me with their knives and took advantage of the situation. I was from my house with one of my members of staff, Simba Marodza, a Zimbabwean teacher by then. They grabbed my lunch box and demanded a cellphone including everything from my pockets. At the same time, my colleague Marodza was surrounded by gangs of criminals. The gang of “Karipi” a well known thug and others started to beat me and my colleague ran for his life. I continued to fight the other thug while others had stolen everything from me. Karipi and others had fled from the scene by then. I continued to fight with one of them until he also started to bleed. He later fled when people started to gather. I started to bleed profusely and took cover at a nearby house. Neighbours quickly called the police but did not come until I was at the hospital. When I was there, the same thug I was fighting with came for treatment and we quickly phoned the police with the help of medical practitioners and he was arrested at the hospital,” explained Mr. Sililo.
“Detective Primeus Amwama the Head of Criminal Investigation Unit (CID unit) came in and the other criminal was arrested on the spot at the hospital. He later divulged some of his accomplices who included a female student at the Caprivi College of Education. Police interviewed her and she managed to furnish them with the information which led to arrest of others including her boyfriend,” he further explained.
Sililo stayed for one week at Katima Mulilo State hospital until he was transferred to Rundu hospital, some 500 km from Katima Mulilo for a surgery after he protested with hospital authorities, he was operated. His story generated a lot of noise on NBC’s silozi station when residents complained about the “well known” “Kapi” and his group” yet police took no action in the past cases.
“These are the same people who frequent pubs and streets and are well known but alas not arrested. Security authorities are somehow misplaced in their duties and they should identify hot spots for these crimes. These guys are having footwork on the ground but to our surprise, Katima Mulilo police does not have informers. What kind of a police force is it in this world of high technology?,” he questioned
Mr. Sililo is not one of the Katima Mulilo residents who are upbeat with the local police officers. Of late, a Regional Youth Forum held a demonstration and marched to the police station demanding that justice should prevail to crime perpetrators. NBC silozi station’s open line programme was recently jammed with calls from residents both in Windhoek and Katima Mulilo demanding police action against criminals in the resort town.
“Karipi is a well known habitual thief and criminal in town and he has been left to cause havoc in Katima Mulilo locations willy-nilly without being arrested. His group of thugs is also known in all locations. The moment he is arrested, the next thing is that we find him in the streets again. Does it mean that the police have no evidence or what? He is being recycled in the Namibian judiciary system. Katima police has no capacity to deal with crime here. We need them to be reshuffled or transferred like what is happening in other regions,” Mr. Sililo explained
However, Mr. Sililo claims that Katima Mulilo police officers have negligence hence the crime high rating in town.“If the courts are not furnished with adequate information and proper criminal procedures, then where are we going as a region? We are doomed to fail. Rather the Regional Commander himself Tylves Kampolo should be transferred if he is failing in his command operations,” he said
The Katima Mulilo police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Geoffrey Samunzala explained to this publication that their duty is to arrest criminals but not to charge and sentence them as residents believes.
“As police officers, we are there to apprehend criminals in our growing societies and once we arrest them, we wait for the courts to determine their cases not us as police officers. If a criminal has been released from custody, people should not point fingers on us rather the onus of the proof lies with the courts which are the pillars of the judiciary system not the police. As with the well known thug, “Karipi”, yes, he has been causing havoc everywhere but he is always scot free. I cannot answer that question but as I referred you, ask the courts because I don’t speak on behalf of the courts but police,”Mr. Samunzala said.
Meanwhile, the Caprivi Vision has established that, “Karipi” has appeared at the local court for other pending cases. He is yet to appear for the robbery, assault and attempt murder of Mr. Sililo which is not yet known at the time of going for the press.