THE Namibian Police Force will no longer tolerate unruly and unlawful behaviour of people protesting against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.
The Deputy Inspector General for Operations of the Namibian Police, Major General Oscar Peter Embubulu, issued a stern warning to protesters and said that the obstruction of police officers in the execution of their duties will not be met with leniency.
“Unfortunately, while the public anger and repudiation of the violent crimes is justifiable, the demonstrations are not only disorderly and unlawful, but they have also been violent and obstructive of law enforcement in the country,” the General said.
General Embubulu urged the public to desist from conducting unlawful acts, such as the current protests, for which the police has been tolerant, despite the fact that they are unlawful and unruly.
“People should always follow the lawful procedures in expressing their grievances,” he said.
Major General Embubulu full statement reads as follows:
Following the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency on 17 September, the country has experienced a steady increase in violent crimes, particularly Gender-Based Violence, murder, Rape, Armed Robbery, and Assault with the intent cause grievous bodily harm, just tometion a few.
Public Environment Health Regulations have also not been adhered to, to the letter and spirit, since the end of the State of Emergency.
Of late, unlawful demonstrations started taking place in some centres of the country, such as Windhoek, Swakopmund and Otjiwarongo ostensibly in response to violent crimes.
Unfortunately, while the public anger and repudiation of the violent crimes is justifiable, the demonstrations are not only disorderly and unlawful, but they have also been violent and obstructive of law enforcement in the country.
The Namibian Police has been lenient enough for the last three days or so, and has been pleading with those involved in the demonstrations to remember the need for the observance of law.
The Republic of Namibia is a country governed by the rule of law and. Therefore, the Namibian Police would like to inform the public that the force will not tolerate any unlawful acts, and will sternly deal with anyone who makes themselves guilty of such acts.
Today, at about 10:30, a crowd of approximately 300 people unlawfully started convening at Zoo Park purportedly protesting about what they perceive as a lax manner in which the Government in general and, in particular the police are addressing Gender-Based Violence in the country.
As the crowd got bigger, they marched from Zoo Park towards Wernhill Park Shopping Mall, while shouting and obstructing the general traffic in the city centre. Upon arrival at Wernhill Park they stormed into one of the shops an a rowdy manner, before proceeding with their march to KFC along Mandume Ndemufayo Street. At KFC they also stormed inside infringing on the rights of the patrons of the facility.
The police had to implore them to desist from what they were doing, but they continued to obstructing both the police and patrons, prompting the police to employ smoke grenades which forced them to disperse. They then regrouped in the city centre. This prompted the police to once more use a smoke grenade and teargas, and to eventually detain 27 of them for questioning and for obstructing the police in executing their duty.
Those who were temporarily detained were taken to the Windhoek Correctional Facility for questioning and where applicable, for charges to be formulated against those who incited public violence and or obstructing the law enforcers in conducting their lawful duties. 23 of them were charged accordingly and warned to appear at court on Monday 12 October 2020.
We urge the public to desist from conducting unlawful acts, such as the current protests, for which the police has been tolerant, despite the fact that they are unlawful and unruly. They should always follow the lawful procedures in expressing their grievances.