Police harassed and intimidated people during registration for vacant houses

Stefanus Nashama

Social Activist Michael Amushelelo, said the registration of people who want to occupy vacant houses in Windhoek built under the Mass Housing Program was met with harassment and intimidation from the Namibian Police Force last week.

Sharing his concern yesterday, Amushelelo said many people could not register due to fear of the Police when the process commenced.

“In the past weekend, the police attempted to undermine the fundamental freedoms of the Namibian Constitution,” he stated

Amushelelo cited Chapter 3, Article 21 (1) (d) which says all persons shall have the right to assemble peaceably, adding that the police should be reminded that people live in a democratic Namibia.

The activist stated that the behaviour of the police has been nothing but autocratic in a democratic and independent Namibia.

“The police ought to be educated a bit about the origins of the word democracy which is of Greek origins and ultimately means it is the people who have power,” he argued.

Amushelelo said the police should be ashamed for wasting state resources, adding that high-ranked officers were spotted at the scene of the registration.

Equally, Amushelelo noted the police had an estimated 100 vehicles and drones just for Namibians who simply want to register their names for the vacant house.

“It is a big shame that the Namibian Police Force has resources to waste on peaceful Namibians whose only desire and wish is to have a place to call home, yet the very same police never have vehicles or manpower when the public truly needs it,” he said.

This type of reaction by the police, Amushelelo said, only deepens the animosity, fear, and distrust that people have against the police.

This also shows the police are no longer impartial, but they receive orders from the ruling party, he added.

He strongly urged the police not to try to interfere with matters related to governance, saying the police should rather focus on criminal matters.

Commenting on the allegations, National Police Spokesperson Deputy Commissioner, Kauna Shikwambi, said if anyone is harassed and intimidated by the police, there are procedures to follow.

At the same time, she encouraged Amushelelo or whoever is harassed and intimidated by the police o open a case or approach the police so that the matter can be investigated.

“Everyone harassed or intimidated by the police or anyone has the liberty to approach the police so that the matter is looked into,” she said.

Shikwambi reiterated that in the absence of a case opened or a matter reported to the police, such allegations remain untrue.

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