By Simon Liseli
THE newly appointed Namibian police force Inspector General, Joseph Shimweelao Shikongo who succeded the retired Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga, wants a change amongst police officers in order to meet concerns of the public.
He echoed these sentiments during the media briefing held on Saturday in Katima Mulilo for a clarion operation that was held from 25 – 29 October 2022 in Zambezi region in which he participated.
According to police inspector general Shikongo, working together in the force makes everything change within the security clusters and that can be only done through unity, well disciplined, right attitudes, respect to commanders and commanders respect to their men and women in uniform.
He commended 106 members who took part in the operation, who he described to know the set-up of the Republic of Namibia.
He said Nampol is mandated with the preservation of internal security, maintenance of law, investigation of offences, crime prevention and protection of life and properties while the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) insures the defence of the territorial integrity of the country.
Shikongo added that Immigration department ensures that immigrations control act is executed without fear or favour.
On his arrival in Zambezi region, he was briefed that they are crimes that are toping in the region such as house breaking, stock theft, and robbery in some instances, illegal fishing and harvest of timbers.
“Now the question is how big this region is? It’s a small region, why can’t you round up and catch all these criminals. Am realizing that there is a problem here, just 7 kilometres walking from here you will find a disaster, people are cutting timbers, why can’t you patrol and catch those people who are harvesting our timbers, do you need a vehicle to go there? He questioned.
He lamented that Namibia has become a playground for foreigners who are coming in and start committing crimes assisted by Namibians.
“We visited all four traditional authorities in this region and people are talking the same thing of people who are coming somewhere into Namibia and start looting some resources” he said.
One of the agenda of the operation is stock theft that have been going on and on in the region where farmers lost their livestock crossing to neighbouring Zambia, where some are being recovered and returned to owners.
“Since the operation started with stock theft, I expected to see a large number of cattle that we should have confiscated during the operation” added Shikongo.
He explained that the cause of not confiscating cattle was done by some individual members in the force who shared information with some criminal about the operation
“That must come to an end to day whether you are in or out, we don’t want criminals in this organization, if you know you are a criminal quit out and go before, we come after you” warned Shikongo.
He called on units such as special branch, NCIS and intelligence to find other ways of doing things and commanders to plan in a manner that no information goes out as they have seen that there are people who cannot be trusted is why they never capture a quiet number of cattle.
“I understand there is a tractor that is coming here from somewhere and get timbers, why we didn’t capture them, it’s because the information was already gone, therefore my directives is that this operation is not ending” noted Shikongo.
Inspector General extended the operation until he will see the real parade of the regional commander announcing a large number of animals being confiscated.
“We do not have cattle here that means the operation is not done and I want people to leave offices to join the operation for us to clear-up, we can’t be seated in offices while we have our community who are suffering in hands of criminals, we have to serve them”
Inspector General Shikongo said the responsibility of securing the border is for the law enforcement and wants other people to come in and play their role to ensure that the border is cleared because there are no cut-line for law enforcement to conduct their patrols as roads are not clean, something he promised to take it up with his ministry to reach other government line ministries who are responsible to do the work.
On familiarize visit to WENELA border post Shikongo established some challenges of parking spaces. He added that issues of corruption are also happening at WENELA where some public officials are involved in corrupt activities ranging from police officers, Immigration, NAMRA and others.
“If you know you are corrupt, we are going to deal with you, time has come to deal with corrupt people, to loot them out, people who are entrusted with responsibility of security and are involved in criminal activities, allowing foreigners to come into the country, stamping illegal passport and selling of documents that must come to an end” he warned.
He also spoke to the Zambezi regional commander about Regional Intelligence Operating Committee (RIOC) that is not working in the region with the reason he doesn’t know.
Shikongo promised to be back in the region after three months to evaluate changes.
“Regional commander with your management, identify people with attitudes and if they are commanders through your recommendation am going to demote them” he promised.
During the operation, about 127 Zambian illegal immigrants were arrested and 3 Angolan nationals bringing them all to a total of 130.
83 Zambian nationals have been so far deported back to their country of origin while 44 of them remains in police custody with 3 Angolans for committing crimes.
In the same operation two Zambians were also arrested for being found in possession of cannabis and a case was opened against them. They are filed under Katima Mulilo CR: 240/10/2022.
In another case, one Namibian national was arrested for contravention of roads and transport act, act 22 of 1999 his CR NO: 241/10/2022.
Numbers of fines served were 22 valued at N$ 20, 500. two fines were served in respect of inland fisheries resources act, fine valued at N$ 1600.00 bringing all fines to a total of N$22,100.
Items that were confiscated were 75 Monofilament fishing nets, 5×50 kg of cement, 1 salted skin of a spotted genet, 24×200 ml bottles of gin whisky, 12×200 ml retro whisky, 22 packets of liberty cigarettes, 21×350 ml of mojo energy drinks, 6×25 kg of breakfast maize meals and 1 okapi knife.
Illegal harvested pieces of fresh and old timbers were discovered at Liselo tobacco farm in Katima Mulilo. Timbers are still at the farm awaiting to be collected by forestry officials.
One carcass of a Hippo was discovered at Nankuntwe area east of Zambezi region. The carcass was disposed of by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) officials by sharing the carcass between Nampol, Zambian MET and the community.
A case was registered as per Katima Mulilo CR 235/10/2022 and no arrest has been made so far.
One shot-gun bearing a serial number 09002197 with two live ammunition belonging to Mr. J.K Mahoto was seized from two Zambian cattle headers who were found at the fire arm owner’s cattle post. The two Zambian nationals were deported and the fire arm was booked in for safe- keeping at Menias Brain Libuto Police Station as per receipt number: 0016039.