Law Enforcement Rallies to Ensure Safety During Census

Stefanus Nashama

The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) has partnered with the Namibian Police Force and the Windhoek City Police to guarantee the safety and security of enumerators during the 2023 Population and Housing Census fieldwork.

During a joint press conference held in Windhoek with the Namibian Police Force, Statistician-General, Alex Shimuafeni stated that the collaboration has been established with the police to ensure that the census is not only successful but also safe for both enumerators and respondents.

“These arrangements aim to make certain the counting process is seamless and free of any criminal incidents,” Shimuafeni said.

He added that the police will be particularly vigilant on Census Reference Night, scheduled for midnight on 24 September 2023, especially in areas known for nocturnal criminal activities.

Shimuafeni emphasized the importance of the census and informed that while participation is voluntary, the Agency’s Act authorizes the imposition of penalties on anyone obstructing the census enumerators. These penalties include a fine of N$ 50,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both.

“Census data is crucial for national development. It not only counts the populace but also assesses the conditions in which Namibians live,” Shimuafeni highlighted.

Furthermore, he reminded the public that revealing any recorded census information before its official release is a criminal offence under the Agency Act. He also advised individuals to sleep where they intend to be counted to reduce inaccuracies and called on the public to collaborate with census enumerators and the Namibian Police throughout the counting phase.

Speaking at the same event, Deputy Inspector-General for Operations, Major General Elias Mutota, affirmed the police’s commitment to preventing criminal activities both during and after the census.

“Our operation intervention is geared towards ensuring the safety and security of all participants. Criminal acts will not be tolerated,” he stressed.

Mutota strongly advised against any exploitation of the census for illicit activities.

“Anyone contemplating leveraging the census for personal gains, such as theft, should think twice,” he warned. He also appealed to the public to promptly report any suspicious activities to the nearest police station.

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