The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: Baby Abandoned in Shebeen

On patrol with the City Police FOR the past six weeks members of the City Police have been patrolling the streets of Katutura and Windhoek every Friday night from 20h00 until 00h00.

They set up roadblocks to check the roadworthiness of cars, look for drunk drivers and search the vehicles. They also respond to calls coming into the Police stations.

Most of the calls the officers responded to on Friday had something to do with alcohol. The night ended when a baby was taken to the Wanaheda Police Station by a man who had found it abandoned in a shebeen in Havana just before midnight.

The baby was wrapped in a blanket and was left in the shebeen along with his bag filled with clothing and a bottle.

The man who took the baby to the Police knows the father but not the mother. The Police took the baby to the Katutura State Hospital.

The evening started with a roadblock in Independence Avenue where a man was caught for drunk driving. The driver, who had five passengers in his car, was arrested.

Another man was fined for driving a car with a licence disk that had expired a year ago.

The diver claimed to have lost his driver's licence three days earlier, and said he had left his identification card at home.

"I especially drive late at night because then there are no Police officers on the streets," he admitted.

The Police then received a call about a young woman who had been raped after spending the evening drinking at shebeens in the Greenwell Matongo area of Katutura.

She told the Police that a man in a taxi had offered to drop her off at home but instead drove her to an uninhabited area where he raped her. She then wandered the street until someone called the Police.

The woman, who said she is 21 years old, could not remember what the man looked like, what the taxi looked like or what the taxi's registration number was.

The next stop was a little shebeen in Dolam which did not have a municipal fitness certificate and whose liquor licence had expired. The Police closed the shebeen and waited until all the patrons had left.

A woman was involved in a hit-and-run accident in Matshishi Road which left her with serious head injuries.

"We suspect that the driver fled the scene because he was under the influence of alcohol," said Chief Superintendent Gerry Shikesho.

Numerous people were seen drinking on the streets and the Police officers asked them to go inside their yards or shebeens. If they refused, the Police emptied their beer bottles.

Superintendent Helena Mootseng of the City Police said that they were satisfied with the operation, which made a visible difference.

"When we first came here the music was loud and people were standing around their cars drinking and smoking hubbly-bubblies in the street and look at it now, we can have a conversation and everyone who is drinking is doing so inside the establishment," she said after a visit to a nightclub in Windhoek.

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