Helena Johannes

Security cluster operations will return to Windhoek amid outrage over a spate of gruesome crimes reported over the past few days.

City Police Chief Abraham Kanime said the police unit had engaged with other stakeholders such as the Namibian police and the Namibia Defense Force to ensure that safety and security procedures are a priority in and around Windhoek.

“We met on Saturday to re-check our strategy on how we are going to enforce the operation,” he said.

This comes as there has been a significant increase in serious crimes in the area. In the latest incident, an intruder raped a 22 year old and killed her 29 year old brother by shooting him twice in the chest on Saturday morning in the Havana informal settlement.

“These kinds of incidents are mostly committed by close relatives or friends under the influence of alcohol,” Kanime said adding that the public should come forward and report suspects rather than hiding them. These perpetrators go unreported by their close relatives and friends and they remain at large to continue breaking the law.

“Our operation will continue regardless of the end of the state of emergency and our teams are on the ground,” he said.

The most well-known security cluster crime prevention operation was “Operation Kalahari Desert” which was launched last year and replaced with “Namib Desert” in March this year.

Kanime said Windhoek had recorded 1,400 speeding cases with 31 car accidents during the past 14 days. He added that the numbers of more serious crimes, especially rape cases, are on the rise.

“We have come up with a strategy to lower the number of accidents and crimes in the country, by installing [more] CCTV cameras, road watch cameras and other technological strategies,” he said.

Kanime’s statements come as a gang of armed robbers managed to overpower security guards of a cash-in-transit truck at gun point in a mall. They made away with an undisclosed amount of money last Sunday.

In addition, Kanime said three out of eight suspects involved in the money heist at Black Chain Shopping Mall were caught and the money recovered.

“However we are still looking for the other five suspects,” he added.

The City Police boss blamed alcohol for the lack of non-adherence to the COVID-19 regulations as people lifted their inhibitions after the state of emergency was removed by the President Hage Geingob last Thursday.

“People hosted their parties during the weekend drinking together forgetting that COVID-19 is not yet gone,” he said.

His concerns come after Khomas Regional Commander of the Namibian Police, Joseph Shikongo, in August warned the public regarding alcohol and COVID-19 saying that Namibian behavior, particularly how they deal with liquor, social spacing and adherence to mask wearing regulations, was insufficient to adequately block the spread of the pandemic.

He lamented that police operations were easier when the consumption of alcohol was banned during level one of the state of emergency.