'Don't abuse your powers'

Police, soldiers warned

27 April 2020 | Police

ILENI NANDJATO

OSHAKATI



The commissioner-general of the Namibia Correctional Service, Raphael Hamunyela, says service chiefs will start holding commanding officers accountable for any violation of human rights.

He said this while addressing regional members of the security cluster at Oshakati. He was with Nampol Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, the chief of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), Air Marshal Pinehas Kambulu, and the director-general of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service, Benedictus Likando.

“When we go on patrols, you find junior security officers attending to people while senior officers are seated in cars. When anything goes wrong, they will say they were not there when such incident happened. I will address this once I go back to Windhoek,” said Hamunyela.

“That is not how it supposed to be done. The reason why we have commanders here is for them to lead operations. If we put our ranks forward, then we will fail because ranks do not do the work. Senior officers or commanders are the ones to give orders as to what must be done and not be done.” Hamunyela said he does not understand why some senior officers are not taking responsibility.



Violation

Police chief Ndeitunga spoke out against the mistreatment of members of the public by security officers, particularly the incident of a young man who was ordered to roll in tombo.

He urged officers to act professionally and not to create new rules for themselves.

“Any person who is suspected to have committed a crime should be explained the types of crime they committed and their right without humiliated. Security officers, our duty is to investigate and not to mete out punishment. Punishment is meted out by the courts,” Ndeitunga said.

“Some of our colleagues are harming the image of the forces as they are not following the rules and procedures in handling communities or suspects.”



Professionalism

Kambulu said when it comes to the enforcement of the Covid-19 lockdown the rules of the game have changed and officers have to change their tactics as well.

“We need disciplined officers and a disciplined public that obey the regulations that we are enforcing. The problem is when we are coming up with our own regulations different from what we are given. At no any point are we allowed to employ our own rules,” Kambulu said.