7 February 2013

Namibia: Whites Still Snub Police Force

Rundu — Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga has reiterated an earlier statement saying white Namibians continue to show very little interest in joining the police force.

The current apathy towards the police force among white Namibians is in stark contrast to pre-independent Namibia when they joined the police force in large numbers.

"When we fight crime we protect everyone regardless of their ethnicity, racial or political inclination, therefore I will keep on appealing to our white families to allow their children to join the force. We have a number of white people in strategic positions such as inspectors and chief inspectors, regional commanders, but at the intake level there seems to be no interest," Ndeitunga said in an exclusive interview with New Era on Monday.

Ndeitunga said the country has a policy on national reconciliation, therefore white Namibians should not think that black people wish to exact revenge or that there will be any reprisals against them whatsoever.

"Unless they have [other] unknown reasons, I seriously do not know what the problem is. We have even gone as far as instructing the white members in the force to go out and mobilise white communities to join the force, but the situation remains the same," the inspector-general to New Era.

Ndeitunga said this should not only be a concern of Nampol, but of all Namibians because crime does not discriminate and all Namibians irrespective of race suffer from the activities of criminals. "All patriotic Namibians should join hands to fight crime in this country. Everyone should be proud to put on the Nampol uniform for the safety of this country," urged Ndeitunga.

Also, speaking to New Era recently, Kavango Regional Police Commander, Commissioner Olavi Auanga, told this reporter that poor accommodation and "political considerations" may be the reason why there is little interest among the white population to join the police force.

"Maybe they think they will be treated harshly, the way we were treated when we joined the force before independence. During that time, a new [white] recruit would be promoted above you even if you had more experience than him," Auanga recalled.

"But I can assure them that this will not be the case now. Everyone will be treated equally," he said. "Whites who serve in the police force at the moment do not suffer any form of victimization."

"Perhaps the poor accommodation of the members might be a deterring factor, but we are trying to improve the situation by all means," said Auanga.

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