OSHIKOTO Regional police commander Armas Shivute has dismissed widespread reports alleging that there are imminent plans to close the police substation at the Onankali village due to the low crime rate in the area and the presence of other police precincts in the vicinity.
Speaking to Informanté this morning Commissioner Shivute said that he was not aware of the alleged plans to close the sub-station, dismissing the reports as baseless rumors.
Anonymous police sources in the Oshikoto Region have earlier “confirmed” widespread reports that the Onankali sub-station will be closed soon.
The sub-station existed for many years, but proper structures were only erected a few years ago after members of the community donated a piece of land as well as the necessary building material.
The sub-station is connected to the main power grind and the application for water connection was approved last year, but while the officers were busy digging the water pipeline they were allegedly ordered to stop because water connection is no longer needed as the sub-station will be closed soon.
Onankali is located along the Ondangwa-Oshivello main road and the nearest police stations are situated at Okatope and Omuthiya, 10 and 30 km away respectively.
Although relatively small in size, Onankali village is one of the fastest growing population centres in the Oshikoto Region. It houses a secondary school, rural water supply and agriculture offices, a Lutheran parish, a post office, a health centre and several big, medium and small businesses as well as a fairly big number of residencies.
While some residents dismissed the reports as “an election year ploy to tarnish the Government”, others are already mobilizing themselves to hold protest marches should the alleged plan to close the police sub-station be implemented.
“The Onankali area is relatively safe exactly because of the presence of a police sub-station. Closing it would not make sense in terms of preventing and combating crime,” said Onankali resident Stefanus Mvula.