Okatupapa villagers demand ‘eviction’ of livestock rustlers from village

OKATUPAPA: Disgruntled residents of Okatupapa village in the Okakarara constituency have sought the permanent removal of a group of seven male siblings suspected to be cattle rustlers, residing there.

In a letter of concern, the villagers during their recent annual community meeting, indicated that their efforts to have police officers locate and arrest the suspects had fallen on deaf ears.

‘These boys have been on a serious trajectory of misbehaviour, stealing our livestock at an alarming rate. Several theft and attempted robbery cases have been reported and recorded at the seemingly ‘toothless’ Okondjatu Police Station on numerous occasions with very little success,’ they alleged.

Furthermore, the letter stated that there are cases involving the seven men recorded at the Okondjatu police station, some of which involve them being caught red-handed with overwhelming evidence presented to the police force. Still, they are always released from custody despite several pending cases circling their thick record
s, much to the chagrin of disheartened residents.

The villagers who are now fed up have threatened to take the law into their own hands and demanded the removal of the men from the village immediately to avoid further confrontation with subsequent potential serious repercussions and ramifications.

Responding to the letter, Otjozondjupa NamPol spokesperson inspection Maureen Mbeha reminded the community that while the regional police are aware of the various cases reported about the seven individuals, no one is above the law, and that anyone who receives threats is entitled to report them.

She said there are eight cases reported in Okatupapa village involving family issues, as well as five stock theft cases, all of which are still active.

On the criticism of police work, Mbeha noted that the force is not at fault, as all offences reported at Okondjatu police station against criminals are brought to justice and eventually freed by courts.

She additionally urged Okatupapa residents to cooperate with the pol
ice to reduce crime and capture criminals in their neighbourhood.

Meanwhile, the Okondjatu police station recorded 21 crimes last year, involving the theft of 43 cattle, 15 of which were returned, 17 small stock of which six were recovered, with 28 suspects detained.

Last year, the Otjozondjupa region registered 402 occurrences of alleged stock theft.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency