Ndeitunga warns Rundu cops

Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga denied that the transfer of the station commander at Rundu was linked to the police action in the massacre at the town on 1 July.

11 July 2018 | Police

Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has warned the “long arm of justice” will reach those officers who are implicated in any negligence relating to the so-called Rundu massacre.

“There has been no action taken yet; the investigation is still ongoing. And if it is found that the police have been guilty of probable negligence, then charges will follow,” Ndeitunga said.

He also strongly denied that Rundu station commander, Chief Inspector Andreas Mushongo Haingura, has been demoted over the incident in which five family members lost their lives

According to the state-owned New Era newspaper, Haingura has been redeployed to the police's regional headquarters to be in charge of a storeroom, while his old post has been filled by Chief Inspector Paulus Mbandu Hauwanga,

However, Ndeitunga denied it was a demotion, saying it was simply a regular redeployment and had nothing to do with the investigation into the Rundu massacre.

Haingura's storeroom guarding assignment follows a public outcry over the alleged actions of Rundu police officers that may have contributed to the slaughter of a family at the town's Ndama location recently.

It is alleged that 20-year-old Jesaya Gabriel Chuhunda's sister went to report his violent behaviour to the police, shortly before he beat his grandmother, mother and three nephews to death, but that the officers had told her they could not assist because there was no transport available.

These allegations have been deemed so serious that Ndeitunga directed the police's internal investigation directorate to probe any police negligence in the matter.

The case against Chuhunda, who remains in custody, was remanded to 20 August and he was also sent for mental observation.

He was arrested after he allegedly killed his grandmother Ndongo Ntumba (77), his mother Ndara Elizabeth Mpande (46) and his three nephews Musenge Petrus Muruti (6), Hausiku Daniel Kapumburu (4) and Musenge Elias Tjingelesu (3).

It is alleged he committed the senseless killings out of frustration, after he was denied money by his sister, who he then assaulted and who subsequently raced to the local police station for help, but to no avail.

“Who said it is a demotion? A storeroom can also be guarded by a chief inspector. He is going with the same rank from Rundu. This redeployment was already in the pipeline and not because he was the station commander during the incident,” Ndeitunga said of Haingura's new assignment on Monday.

He warned police officers last week he will not tolerate corruption and lax behaviour and that stern action will be taken when necessary.

During a briefing to police staff in Windhoek last week, Ndeitunga said what happened in Rundu is disappointing and a joke.

“When you see the report, it states that a member of the public came to the charge office and asked the police to assist. But the police said no, they have no car there. There was not even an entry in the registry to indicate that there was a case. They just said, 'no car here',” Ndeitunga said.

He said it was a joke that while there was no car available to prevent the Rundu massacre, about 12 police vehicles were in attendance at the subsequent crime scene.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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