Eviction matter was referred to the Inspector General of the Namibian Police

Stefanus Nashama

The Namibian Police in the Oshikoto Region has withdrawn its intention to evict police officers who are staying with their children at the Omuthiya Police Village in anticipation of a final decision about the matter by Lieutenant General Joseph Shikongo.

The Oshikoto Regional Police Commander, Commissioner Kalompo-Nashikaku, on Friday, told Windhoek Observer upon enquiry that the matter has been referred to the police headquarters for General Shikongo to analyse it and provide a possible solution.

“I referred the matter to our headquarters and the affected few members did the same. The Inspector-General of the Namibian Police is busy with it, so let’s not rush to respond to other entities before our own,” Kalopmpo-Nashikaku said.

The communication to evict members who are staying with their children in the police barracks went out in March 2022 and early August this year.

Kalompo-Nashikaku pointed out that insufficient accommodation for members is receiving attention from NamPol senior management which includes her.

Saying that the Government through Namibian Police has tried to provide accommodation for police officers in the Oshikoto Region but it can accommodate everyone at the same time.

According to Kalompo-Nashikaku, among others, the Omuthiya Police Village comprises four blocks each with 20 rooms. A total of 80 rooms are occupied by non-commissioned officers and only five houses are for the management cadres.

She highlighted that the barracks have a sharable ablution facility with toilets and showers of which according to the police guidelines, persons irrespective of their age and gender are not allowed in other barracks blocks, unlike the free houses.

“Non-police visitors and Nannies are also not allowed in the police barracks, they are only allowed in government police-assigned houses that are outside the police-restricted facilities of which such houses are currently not available in Omuthiya,” she added.

The Commissioner alluded that the Police management is fully aware of insufficient accommodation in Omuthiya. Therefore, she recommends a gradual improvement in responding to address the shortage.

The Regional Commander explained that the reason to evict such members was due to the concern of a possible social and psychological effect associated with the exposure of children sharing bathrooms with adults of the opposite gender.

This is in addition to the main police barracks rules, which prohibit police members to stay with their children as stipulated in Store Manuel Chapter Five (5), she stated.

“We care for our kids too. As such dear colleagues, we are waiting for the police senior management on that matter,” Kalompo-Nashikaku said.

The decision to halt the eviction plan came after Affirmative Repositioning (AR) Movement last week threatened to drag the Oshikoto Police to court.

AR activist in the Oshikoto Region, Johannes Johannes, has demanded that the police halt the plan while engaging the regional office and that of Police Inspector General Shikongo.

Johannes reasoned that the barring of police officers with children from occupying police barracks is apartheid-inherent and should be treated as such, providing for justification or fairness and the family right respectively.

“Article 10 emphasises that all persons are equal before the law, and whereas your top-ranked officers enjoy the luxury of government houses with their families, your office is fishing on the lowly paid junior members with no means of affording monthly rent. We are perplexed and dumbfounded that as a mother in the echelons of authority and influence, instead of advocating for the revising and updating of these apartheid inherent rules in chapter 5, you are sharpening them to inflict pain on your own. This is not only disappointing and embarrassing but it’s an act of betrayal on your part,” he said.

Johannes added that AR has noted that Kalompo-Nashikaku refused to accord the concerned members a chance to be heard through their letter dated 07 August 2023. A sign that the regional commander is seemingly acting at the “behest of some caprice” without considering the prejudicial impacts on those facing eviction.

“In light of the above and the foregoing, we are demanding your office to halt the planned eviction immediately, as we seek to engage your office and the Inspector General. Our leadership has compiled a team to meet you on Saturday 19th of August 2022 at 10 o’clock to provide direction on the matter. It is not our wish to seek redress through other avenues, but should your office persist with the status quo, we will have no other options but to approach the courts in protection of our mothers who only have the AR movement as their voice,”

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