Namibia: Release of Two Zimbabweans Angers Residents

RESIDENTS of Katima Mulilo are outraged over the release of the two Zimbabweans who were recently arrested in connection with issuing truck drivers fake negative Covid-19 test results.

Andrew Hleza (45) and Christopher Mabureni (28) were fined N$15 000 each after admitting guilt and have been released.

The pair also faced charges of entering Namibia illegally and operating a business without a permit, which were withdrawn.

They were initially denied bail, and their case was postponed to 27 April for further investigation and to allow them to obtain legal representation, before they admitted guilt.

The Namibian spoke to Jackson Kunatela yesterday, a concerned resident who expressed his disappointment in the Namibian justice system, asking how two foreigners who committed such a serious crime can simply be released.

"These men should be in custody still, and should be sentenced accordingly. Instead of being deported and banned from entering Namibia, they are just released. Police officers are pressuring Namibian residents to wear masks, but serious crimes are not taken seriously. People's lives were put at risk," he said.

Another resident, Patricia Simwanza, said it seems that foreigners' crimes are not taken seriously in Namibia, since the offenders were only fined without receiving jail time.

She said after their release, nothing will prevent the pair from continuing with their crimes.

"The police should explain to us what really happened here. Why were these men arrested in the first place if they were to be released just like that? Our justice system is failing us, because in our region foreigners seem to be allowed to do business as they please without any documents," she said.

Regional police commissioner, Marius Katamila, told The Namibian that the two accused were fined because they admitted guilt, while a third suspect was not arrested because of insufficient evidence.

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