A NAMIBIAN police officer who shot and seriously injured an unsuspecting driver at Oshikango in the Ohangwena Region two weeks ago, was charged with attempted murder.
His victim faces a charge of illegal importation of tobacco products.
According to the police none of the two suspects was arrested and both cases were referred to the Prosecutor General for decision.
The shooting incident occurred on 8 June while Ali Nanyeni Kabila was driving on a two-track road from his parental home in the Okanghudi kaKamati village to Oshikango when he passed a police van going the opposite direction.
The police van made a U-turn, but there are conflicting versions on what happened next.
According to Kabila’s mother Ndapunikwa Nanduda, Kabila pulled out to give the speeding police van the right of way when suddenly a shot rang and he was hit in the thigh while still seated behind the steering wheel of his now stationary vehicle.
She further alleged that Kabila got out of the vehicle and fell on the ground and the two occupants of the police van descended on him slapping him as punishment for allegedly ignoring their order to stop.
The police have a different version.
According to NamPol’s Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga, it all started when an incident of armed robbery was reported to the police and Kabila’s vehicle – a Toyota Runx – matched the description of the getaway car used by the robbers and was coming from the general direction of the robbery incident.
“The officers stopped the car and when it failed to stop the officers suspected that the driver was trying to flee. The shot was therefore meant to stop a fleeing suspect vehicle by deflating one of its tyres,” said Ndeitunga.
Police spokesperson Kaume Itumba speculated that Kabila tried to flee for a totally different reason. “He did not possess a driver’s license and was carrying illegally imported YES cigarettes, but he was neither coming from the scene of the robbery nor was he involved in the robbery,” he said.
Kabila was rushed to hospital, underwent emergency surgery and was discharged days later.