Police officer claims that her arrest was unlawful

Martin Endjala

Hambeleleni Mushinina, holding the rank of Sergeant First Class in the Namibian Police Force, asserts that her arrest was unlawful, an incident that has left a stain on her reputation, and she is now determined to seek justice to vindicate her name.

The junior officer was apprehended on 27 November 2023, in connection with a stolen cellphone in the Ohangwena region. She was subsequently released on bail amounting to N$700 on 28 November 2023.

Mushinina claims that she was at work when fellow police officers arrived at her residence to arrest her son, Jeremiah Mushinina, on November 27, 2023, on suspicions of stealing a cellphone that belonged to a former Evangelical Lutheran Church Pastor, Hendrick Shuudeni. It was Pastor Shuudeni who initiated legal action against both mother and son.

Narrating the events leading to her arrest, Mushinina stated that upon her return home after receiving a call, she was questioned about the whereabouts of the phone. While trying to comprehend the situation, she was handcuffed and transported to the police station, where she spent the night before being released the following day. However, her son remained in custody and was only released after nearly a month in police custody.

Upon learning that she was arrested in connection with a stolen phone, Mushinina demanded that Pastor Shuudeni provide evidence of her involvement.

“Since my son had a sexual encounter with this man, and this was the first time it happened, I did not have my phone with me since I have two numbers. My other phone was with my daughter at home with Jeremiah, and when they called, I was not home, and she was the one who answered. So, how could I have possibly stolen the phone? As a mother, I must protect my son from such exploiters because this man exploited my boy, something very horrific, and to this day, the family is still affected by this event that took place,” she explained.

Mushinina firmly believes that there is a hidden agenda behind her arrest and is determined to uncover the truth and clear her name. Both mother and son are scheduled to appear in court on April 24, 2024.

Expressing her concerns, the Sergeant raised questions about the pastor’s representatives failing to appear at court hearings, particularly during a hearing set for December 29, 2023, which resulted in the matter being postponed.

“All I want is to clear my name and move on with my life. This is injustice. How does one get arrested with no evidence or records? I tried to bring the matter to the attention of both Inspector General Joseph Shikongo and Ohangwena Regional Commander but to no avail. Hence, I decided to speak out against the injustice I have endured,” she stated,

The Ohangwena Regional Commander, Commissioner Ottilie Kasupuulwa, confirmed knowledge of the case, emphasizing that the legal process must run its course. She expressed concern over the recent arrests of police officers for various crimes, asserting that nobody is above the law.

Meanwhile, Jeremiah Mushinina, who has now become a community activist in the Ohangwena region, expressed his disappointment with the police, labelling his mother’s arrest as unjustified since she had no involvement in the matter between him and the pastor.

Mushinina alleged that the wealthy often evade punishment for their crimes, claiming they have certain police officers in their pockets who carry out unlawful arrests. Due to the high cost of legal representation, many individuals find themselves incarcerated.

He further alleged that the investigative officer in charge of the matter appeared to be more interested in assisting the pastor than in uncovering the truth.

“This pastor keeps coming to my place and texting me, even though he was verbally warned not to do so, and when I report the matter, nothing is done. They don’t even listen to me,” said Mushinina.

Mushinina, denying the cellphone theft allegations against him, is now calling on activist Michael Amushelelo and Lawyer Kadhila Amoomo to come to their aid and urging leaders to halt such injustices.

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