Namibia: Armed Thugs Terrorise Nice Trainees, Staff

5 August 2019

Windhoek — Gangs of thugs armed with knives are having a field day terrorising Namibian Institute of Culinary Education (Nice) hospitality trainees in Windhoek robbing them at knifepoint of cellphones, wallets, money and other valuables in broad daylight.

These robberies usually take place while the victims are out on lunch or about to take a taxi home near the popular restaurant adjacent to the Namibian University of Science and Technology (Nust), whose students have also fallen prey to these thugs. With impunity, the thugs take advantage of the fact that the City Police and the regular police do not patrol the area and there are no CCTV cameras.

Several of the victims have been robbed of valuables such as wallets and cellphones and in some instances of their clothes and uniforms in broad daylight over the last few months. In some instances, the victims are told to take off their shoes by these vicious-looking thugs carrying knives and firearms.

One such instance was when the head chef of the restaurant was accosted and targeted in a daring robbery last week while having lunch at the Dolce & Kapana food stand outside Nice Restaurant.

The victim was, however, too traumatised and he refused to share his ordeal, New Era was informed by a co-worker, who himself has been robbed several times while taking a hike home in the vicinity of the former Louis Botha grocery. He said another co-worker also fell victim to these ruthless thugs.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the victim, who reported the incident to members of the City Police, said the thugs would normally target tourists but when they cannot find tourists, they strike at anybody they find.

While the police could not give any further information on the offences, Chief Inspector Pendukeni Haikali of the public relations department said it is imperative for victims of these acts of thuggery to report to the police.

According to Haikali, the police cannot be everywhere every time and sometimes when they concentrate their patrols in certain areas, these mobile thugs strike in another area.

For this reason, she said, even when people do not want to register a case, they should and must inform the police so that it can be brought to the attention of the regional commander.

New Era was also informed that Nice Restaurant suffered a break-in a couple of weeks ago where several laptops and office equipment were stolen.

No arrests have been effected yet and police are still investigating.

Meanwhile, Nice trainees are worried these thugs might soon spill blood and they want the area around the popular restaurant to be patrolled.

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