A ray of sunshine

07 November 2018 | Columns

In this doom and gloom, where bad news overshadows much of the country, the happenings at Rundu's Ndama informal settlement gives one hope for what is possible.

Police officers serving the crime-infested community from under a tree is by no means the only good news in the country, but it certainly brings a ray of sunshine into all our lives.

This simple act was in response to the cries of the community, who are running the gauntlet of crime, and who understood that government does not have the necessary resources to erect a structure, or even bring a caravan into the area, at this stage.

The satellite station, which operates daily from 08:00 to 17:00, will provide locals with administrative services, such as the certifying of copies, good conduct certificates and the opening of criminal cases.

Ndama has been declared the most troubled area in Rundu, where the majority of common assault and housebreaking cases take place.

It was also at Ndama where 20-year-old Jesaya Gabriel Chuhunda allegedly massacred five of his family members, including his mother, in July.

Ndama community members asked the police to bring their services closer to the community in order to curb crime - even if these services are delivered under a tree - and this call has now been resoundingly answered. Obviously, there are manifold benefits for the community, which includes the police reacting faster to crimes in the area.

We applaud Ndama headman Olavi Mpande, as well as Kavango East regional commander, Commissioner Johanna Ngondo and Rundu station commander Chief Inspector Paulus Hauwanga for this initiative.

It shows that service is alive and well in the nation, and augurs well for the image of the police force. Tellingly, it was also revealed that Rundu needs about four more satellite police stations in order for the close to 90 000 residents to be served effectively.

This is probably true for most crime-ridden areas, where mere police presence could make all the difference.

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