New Era (Windhoek)

11 January 2013

Namibia: Kazeurua - a Gallant Servant of the People

"Aminuis cattle thieves hear traditional court case fate," screamed a headline in one of the dailies earlier this week. Unknown to the reporter and to the best wishes and hopes of cattle rustlers this could have been the last time that the community of Aminuis may have seen such successes against cattle thieves.

Because one of the pillars in the combat of stock theft tragically paid the highest price for his valiant, gallant and steadfast endeavours against stock theft in the area. Major Hiambepo Wilfried Kazeurua, who has been both the vanguard, as well as the rear guard in the combating of stock theft, at times singularly so, is no more.

He died tragically in the line of duty while pursuing suspect cattle rustlers, when his body was unearthed from an aardvark burrow on Monday. He had been on this mission since Boxing Day. Unbeknownst to him and sadly, that was to be his last mission.

"Namibia in a social crisis," led a headline in yet another daily referring to the rape rampage, which continues unabated in the country. It is indeed an understatement that Namibia is in a social crisis. On the contrary the country seems in a vicious criminal grip ranging from rape to stock theft and all other crimes imaginable.

In fact, the country is and has for a long time been on the precipice of a downward spiral in both moral values and human dignity. In many respects it has been on a pendulum of functionality and dysfunctionality, to say the least. Ordinarily in functional societies those meeting such tragic demise, such as the fate that befell Kazeurua are the men and women in uniform. But now and today it is ordinary, conscientious citizens such as Kazeurua who meet that fate, with those who are supposed to maintain law and order and to protect the weak in society are somehow conspicuous by their absence. Likewise in the case of the tragedy that has befallen Kazeurua, and indeed the entire Aminuis Constituency, it makes one wonder where the law enforcers were that he had to dare the stock thieves man alone?

And it is not hard to find the answer, because simply and wholesale the requisite structures appear to have abdicated their responsibilities to the communities themselves. Day by day the weak and frail seem to be left at best to their own devices, and at worst to the mercy of powerful and unscrupulous criminals. These days, more often than not, communities and citizens are expected to manoeuvre their own ways through the criminal underworld with little help from the powers that be. One cannot spare any of the institutions responsible for the maintenance of law and order and justice in this regard, for all are to some degree guilty of a sense of defeat in the face of growing crime and criminality and hopeless and indifferent to the dark criminal cloud that has been hanging over many a Namibian community.

The tragic death of Kazeurua is more than an eye opener. In fact it has long been coming and society and communities throughout this country must have been aware of it. Notwithstanding that fact, the likes of Kazeurua seem to have been soldiering on alone with this Sinbadic burden of the criminal underworld in the Aminuis Constituency, and elsewhere in the country, singularly and man alone.

Not only this, but through his valiant efforts and initiatives against stock theft in the constituency where he has been at the helm of the Anti-Stock Theft Unit, he has not only earned the wrath of criminal elements, but also the wrath of some self-serving members of the community, some of whom even had the audacity of purporting to represent community interest while their agenda has simply been parochial, greedy, if not outright against the very efforts of the anti-stock theft unit.

Their counterproductive attempts at times had the effect of sabotaging the unit to the detriment of the whole farming community and to the triumph of stock thieves, intentionally or unintentionally. In the make-believe world of movies, the good always triumphs over the bad, the heroes and heroines over villains. But somehow how in the criminal world in Namibia, it is hard to get over the perception that evil always triumphs over good! Otherwise how can one explain the tragic fate of Kazeurua?

The Aminuis Constituency has often been looked upon with awe and disdain for its eccentricities, including its suspicion of intruders, political or social. Simply for adhering to its own etiquette for survival and perseverance, if not for the sustenance of its avowed communal norms and standards, and its own laager that had for better or worse become the envy of many. It is in this context that one deposits the Anti-Stock Theft Unit.

All the successes of the unit, that Kazeurua has come to personify, have been an epitome of this special and own rule book. Unfortunately, some seemed to have had little appreciation for this, even some bona fide inhabitants of the constituency. Their desires and wishes appear to have come to pass with the tragic death of Kazeurua. But instead of signaling the demise of the constituency, as some detractors and doomsayers may have been hoping and praying, the Kazeurua tragedy should inspire the community to retreat deeper in its laager to keep the relative order that has been own to the constituency.

There can be no befitting tribute and honour to the memory of Kazeurua than to forge upon the community what he believed in, and died for. His love and dedication to the Aminuis community, personified and enlivened his anti-stock theft activities. Let us not give those who been working against him, the satisfaction of their twisted and ill-informed agenda, and allow the cattle rustlers a field day with his departure! Shame on those who have been working against him and his anti-stock theft activities and God's peace be upon Kazeurua's soul and his shining legacy!

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