7 November 2018

Namibia: Four Vendors Arrested for Outapi Riot

Ongwediva — The police in Omusati Region have charged the four suspects arrested in connection with the riot on Monday when police had to fire teargas at vendors who stoned them.

The four have been charged with assault, hindering or trying to prevent police officers from performing their duties and resisting lawful arrest.

The four suspects are expected to appear before the Outapi Magistrate's Court this week.

The regional crime investigations coordinator in the Omusati Region, Deputy Commissioner Moses Simeho, on Tuesday said the four were taken in for questioning after the vendors allegedly stoned police that were dispatched at various spots where illegal vending takes place at the town.

A riot erupted and police had to disperse about 100 unruly vendors with pepper spray after the vendors started throwing stones at them.

However, vendors gave their own version saying the police confiscated and disposed of their goods including food items.

Police refuted the claims of having disposed of any materials.

Simeho said there were no vendors on the streets on Tuesday and police officers are also still in the field to restore order.

The police were on Monday dispatched to various illegal trading spots to ensure that vendors return to the open market as per the Outapi Town Council directive.

The town council has passed a directive that all vendors trade from the provided open market and not from the streets as it has become a norm.

The directive was effective from Monday.

However, the vendors who are resisting operating from the market accusing the council of shielding them from customers.

The vendors charged that the council was denying them their only chance to make an income for themselves and to send their children to school.

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