The Police have promoted three women as regional heads breaking with the tradition that most senior positions were reserved for men.
Police Chief Sebastian Ndeitunga says he is happy that they exercise patience, which is a virtue, “I told them to be patient and not rush, their time was coming, and it has now happened.”
Recently Ndeitunga announced the promotion of Commissioner Julia Sakuwa-Neo, as the new regional commander of Kavango West, taking over from Josephat Abel, who retired. Sakuwa served as head of administration in the Oshikoto region and 26 years of experience in the force. Teopoline Kalompo-Nashikaku was also elevated to a new commander for Oshikoto replacing Armas Shivute, who heads into retirement at the end of this month.
The two women commanders join Elizabeth Sibolile, who was promoted as regional commander of the troubled crime hotspot, Ohangwena Region, in June 2020, thus increasing the number of female headed northern regions to three, while Oshana’s long servicing Rauha Amweele, who is retiring at the end of July, after having served for 32 years. She is being replaced by Naftal Sakaria, who served as head of special reserve force prior to his appointment.
Ndeitunga also promoted long-serving Lavinia Shaxula as the principal staff officer in his office, and takes over from retired commissioner John Alweendo.
“I told them to be patient, instead of running to the media to complain. These are capable members who are able to do the job,” said Ndeitunga when questioned about the appointments.
“We looked at their performance, work etiquette, leadership skills, hence we trust and have higher regard that these are capable, trustworthy and confident women who are able to take the work of the police force forward with no doubt.”
Meanwhile, Sakuwa-Neo whose career started at Wanaheda Police Station after the completion of a police training in South Africa in 1996, said she is ready to tackle the daunting task that comes with the job. She said, stock theft and land disputes are some of the challenges Kavango West is experiencing, hence she is ready to deal with this as she brings along new reforms.
“I rose through the ranks where there are doubts to every step higher you take, however, with this task I am here to prove them wrong as my track record can tell. Since my appointment as Deputy commissioner and head of administration in 2016 having served in Kharas, Zambezi (2017) and Oshikoto. I was able to act as regional commander, where I took major decisions and implemented policies and strategies in policing. Therefore, I am confident, i will undertake this task despite challenges, with the advantage that I have served in this hot seat for the past six years,” she stressed.
Sakuwa-Neo further prides herself as an academic, with qualifications in Human Resource and Business Administration. “Even after my training I believed that without education one cannot progress far, so this propelled me to enrol and learn, while carrying out my day-to-day task, and here I am today.”
She says she has been in war zones and participated in numerous field work which exposed her to working with diverse cultures, thus she is ready to work with anyone irrespective of race, tribe and ethnic origin. She further aims to strengthen intelligence and increase the number of informants, community cooperation as well as further cementing existing strategies and policies laid out by her predecessors.