Namibia: Rogue Police Commander Jailed for Theft

19 February 2020

Former Katima Mulilo Police Station commander Fredrick Nalisa was sentenced to 36 months' imprisonment on Friday after he was found guilty of theft by the Katima Mulilo Magistrate's Court.

It is alleged that from October 2007 to March 2012, Nalisa (58) and his two co-accused Trodah Simataa (41) and Ronetty Nyambe (41) stole money paid by suspects to the police as fines or bail deposits.

The theft came to light during an audit carried out by the Ministry of Safety and Security, and N$25 100 could not be unaccounted for. An investigation was launched, which led to the trio's arrest in 2012.

Simataa was sentenced to two years and Nyambe to 20 months imprisonment.

Magistrate Victor Nyazo during sentencing remarked that the three stole from the public purse on several occasions, in violation of their oaths as police officers.

Another aggravating factor was that Nalisa was a senior police officer during the time these crimes were committed, being chief inspector and also the station commander. Simataa and Nyambe were his subordinates.

"Police officers are held to a high standard by society because their core [duty] is to protect the lives and properties of citizens to prevent crime and to maintain law and order. Society has trust in the police officers and would not expect them to commit crime.

"The money the three accused stole had an impact on the administration of justice, because innocent members of the society who paid admission of guilt fines would have been regarded as having not paid the fines, when in actual fact they did," he said.

Nyazo further stated the three accused benefited from their criminal schemes, they engaged in over a number of years because the money which they stole was never recovered. It was used for their personal gains, he said.

"The convicts in this matter committed a white collar crime, in that they were and still are in respect of Simataa and Nyambe, officers in the public service who use their positions to derive benefits which were detrimental to the administration of justice and public funds," he said.

He lastly noted that having considered the above, taking the respective counts together upon which the accused have been convicted for the purpose of sentence would be just and fair under the circumstances.

The state prosecutor was Phineas Mpofu.

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