Namibia: Police Stop Churches From Registering the Needy During Lockdown

ERONGO police have requested church leaders to stop registering the needy in their communities.

The registration of community members who need food supplies during the Covid-19 state of emergency lockdown period has attracted crowds of people at churches in Kuisebmond at Walvis Bay.

According to the Namibian Police's community affairs commander in Erongo, Ileni Shapumba, these gatherings have been in breach of the lockdown regulations. Shapumba urged the men of the cloth to cease such practices with immediate effect and focus on workable methods that do not require the gathering of large groups of people.

"During the time of lockdown, people are required to be confined to their places of residence and [may] only move out in case of emergency or in search of essential service as measure to fight Covid-19. This condition applies to all persons who are not part of the emergency or essential service providers," said Shapumba.

He also warned the community against attending church services during this time.

It was also observed that some pastors were having church services while restricting attendance to not more than 10 persons at their churches or places of worship. The police would take appropriate action, including dispersing any gatherings and charging anyone violating the regulations by causing people to gather, said Shapumba.

The set fine for contravening the lockdown directive is N$2 000 - or a sentence of up to six months' imprisonment.

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