AN embarrassing third incident of trial awaiting prisoners escaping from police custody in as many weeks has left the commander of the Namibian Police frustrated and infuriated.
The Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga, lambasted the poor discipline at police stations in the country after four more trail awaiting prisoners managed to escape from holding cells in Omega in the Kavango East Region.
“It is now very clear that some people are not doing their jobs properly and I find it very disturbing. Therefore an investigation into the actions of all officers on duty at the time of the different incidents has already been launched. Besides the investigation all regional commanders have received strict instructions to see to it that station commanders ensure that prisoners are regularly and properly searched for the possession of contraband,” General Ndeitunga said.
The latest incident on Friday where four trial awaiting prisoners crawled to freedom through a window in a corridor of the Omega Police Station follows the escape of two prisoners from the police station at Eenhana on 23 February and the daring escape of four trial awaiting murder accused prisoners on the 11th of February in Swakopmund.
A week after their escape, the Omega police are still searching for Yakeya Muruti, Ngotji Ruveto, Bohemia Taimo and Charles Mahoma. The four escaped prisoners are all foreign nationals awaiting trial in Namibia. Muriti and Ruveto are from Botswana and they were in custody since December last year on charges related to poaching and registered at Rundu.
Taimo and Mahoma are from Angola and were in custody on charges of rape that were registered in Omega. Taimo has been in custody since November 2017 and the two cases pending against Mahoma were registered at the beginning of January this year.
In the last week of February police asked for the public’s assistance to trace Ndahanwapo Festus Timon also known as Shako and Taala Pandu Shingwedha, after they escaped from the police holding cells in Eenhana by cutting the bars of their cell.
Timon was awaiting trial on several cases of house breaking and theft while Shingwedha was in custody on a charge of rape.
Six days after their daring escape from police custody in Swakopmund in the second week of February, three of the four murder accused fugitives Fabian Tangeniomwene Lazarus, Matheus Nujoma, also known as Zaza, and Ngenokesho Stefanus were re-arrested in the Oshihedi Sheengombe Village near Ondjiva in Angola. The fourth escapee, Stefanus Daniel Nghilifa, is still on the run.
“These prisoners that are still on the run are hiding among our communities with people they know and their neighbours know who they are. If the neighbours or friends don’t report the culprits to the police they make themselves guilty of a crime as well,” General Ndeitunga warned.
The Inspector General gave the assurance that the identity of the people who inform on the culprits will be kept secret.