Swapo orders police to investigate Shoprite violence

21 January 2021 | Labour

TUYEIMO HAIDULA



OSHAKATI

Swapo has condemned the police’s use of excess force against striking Shoprite group employees at Oshakati in the Oshana Region.

The ruling party’s regional office was responding to a video - which has gone viral on social media - of a severely injured protester who is said to have been shot by the Namibian police on 15 January.

Last Saturday, Namibian police deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi said rubber bullets were used on protesters to “restore order”.

“We strongly condemn such use of excessive and disproportional force against workers by the police in the struggle against all forms of labour exploitation, hence we request that the Namibian police force in Oshana undertakes to conduct an internal affairs inquiry to investigate this incident for possible suspicions of law-breaking and professional misconduct on the part of police officers involved,” the statement read.

The party also condemned those who instigated workers to behave violently during the strike that day.

Swapo urged the national government to intervene in the matter and ensure that the workers’ demands are met.

No answer

Oshana police commissioner Rauha Amwele could not be reached for comment on whether the order has reached her office and when the force plans to carry out the investigation.

Judge Shafimana Ueitele ruled in favour of the striking workers about two weeks ago, interdicting Shoprite from hiring so-called seasonal or ‘fixed-term’ employees for the purpose of performing, in whole or in part, the work of employees who embarked on a strike last month. This order has since been defied by the company.

- [email protected]

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