A POLICE officer caught on video assaulting a woman, reportedly an immigrant from Zambia last Wednesday at the Wenela border still has not been arrested, despite that a criminal case of assault has been opened against him.
Zambezi Crime Investigations Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Evans Simasiku, says although the case was opened by the victim on Thursday, the State has taken it over and the suspect, a police constable will only be arrested after all the statements have been collected. The suspect also has not been suspended and is still at work. Simasiku states that the victim will officially give her statement today, and she would not be required to testify as the State is taking over the case. Simasiku could not disclose the suspect’s name, saying that he was on official duty when the alleged assault happened. Simasiku also refutes claims that the suspect was intoxicated.
According to Simasiku, the victim, whose name is also withheld, illegally entered Namibia from Zambia. Her intentions to enter Namibia are unknown to the police, he says. Simasiku adds that the woman has not been charged for illegally entering Namibia adding that this is the first reported incident against the suspect.
Although the video in question also shows another woman, seemingly in the company of the victim, police say they are only aware of the victim, whom they say is between 35-40 years old. Whether or not she too was assaulted by the suspect, is a mystery. The now viral video was reportedly filmed by a civilian.
“In an incident like that, a police officer should use his discretion. For example, if a person enters the country illegally, it is at the police officer’s discretion to arrest that person and charge them as an illegal immigrant or tell the person to go back to their country,” Simasiku explains.
Simasiku adds that a similar incident happened last year in June, involving three police officers who were also accused of assaulting civilians. In that incident, he informs, the suspects were charged, transferred and redeployed to other police stations in other regions. According to him, the trio in that matter appeared in court.
“Police officers should not take the law into their hands. We have laws that govern this country. If you find that, for example, a person crossed the border illegally, it is the duty of that police officer to charge that person,” Simasiku states.