Marthina Mutanga and Eba Kandovazu
AT the resumption of the National Assembly, members of parliament had discussions about the crime-fighting operation, Kalahari Desert, and why the Namibian Defense Force (NDF) does not fire warning shots instead of directly firing at suspects who do not pose an immediate threat.
Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) President McHenry Venaani posed the question to the Minister of Safety and Security and reminding the assembly that two cases that resulted in the death of civilians at the hands of soldier who formed part of the operation, have been reported.
Minister Charles Namholo responded by saying that his ministry decided to join forces with the Namibian police because there were was a public outcry that NDF members don’t have work and are therefore wasting tax payer monies.
“Nampol said it does not have a sufficient workforce and approached the NDF for assistance. The public is always complaining that soldiers are doing nothing at their bases. Now we bring them to work and you’re still complaining. Nowhere in the world do people get away by running away from a legally set up road block except in Namibia. People in other countries get shot at. It is an established roadblock. Why must you run away? It is really unfortunate that lives were lost but people should refrain from running away from law enforcement officers,” Namholo said.
Opposition members were called to order when they referred to NDF soldiers as “killers.”
Prime Minister Sarah Kuugongelwa-Amadhila expressed disappointment in parliamentarians referring to NDF members as killers when they are in fact “protectors of a sovereign Namibia.”
Lands minister Utoni Nujoma and Justice Minister Sacky Shanghala were also part of the parliamentarians defending the move to have NDF members on the streets fighting crime as part Operation Kalahari Desert.