AT a time when Namibia is barely able to combat the overwhelming second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a state ambulance was used for transporting the butchered carcass of a stolen cattle instead of critically sick patients.
A tip-off from the public about possible stock theft activities led to the arrest of the driver of a state ambulance from the Windhoek Central hospital and his assistant at the police checkpoint at Kapps Farm when they were found with half a cattle carcass in the ambulance.
The Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe, said he learned with shock about the incident, adding that he was completely appalled by it.
“These culprits had the audacity to abuse the sacred trust and to shun their sacred task to serve the people for their own personal gain at a time when the state’s resources are stretched to their very limit. This is completely unacceptable,” he said.
Nangombe confirmed that the ambulance personnel were charged with stock theft and added that they will face further criminal charges in terms of the Public Service Act of 1995 regarding the abuse of trust and state assets.
“The Ministry of Health and Social Services will not tolerate such an abuse of trust and assets. All legal routes will be pursued against the culprits in this case,” he said.
He said the selfishness of the individuals involved is unspeakable and deplorable not only because of the criminal mentality, but because their act did irreparable damage to the trust that people have in the health authorities of Namibia.
The ambulance personnel that were arrested were deployed at the Windhoek Central Hospital, which means that while they were busy with their criminal acts, valuable state assets were taken out of commission to assist people who were in need of critical medical treatment.
Police at the checkpoint between Windhoek and the Hosea Kutako International Airport to the east of the capital were informed that the ambulance driver and his assistant were involved with stock theft in the area of Dordabis.
The two persons manning the ambulance were arrested on the spot following the search of the ambulance at the checkpoint.