Police chief dispels tribalism claims

Joseph Shikongo

Police inspector general Joseph Shikongo has poured cold water on assertions that police promotions favour the country’s dominant tribes.

He was speaking at the graduation ceremony of 1 060 cadets at Oshakati yesterday.

Shikongo said some people believe the Namibian security cluster comprises a certain tribe only, which is not the case.

“Today is testimony that we are building a Namibian police force,” he said.

Shikongo said the cadets attending the parade yesterday represent all 121 constituencies of the country.

“They are from all 14 regions,” he said.

Last year, following an uproar over the perceived mass exclusion of certain tribes from the police recruitment process, the government moved to ensure that future recruitments comprise 80% of the regions’ indigenous communities.

The new graduates consist of 679 men and 381 women.

Shikongo said yesterday’s graduation proves the police’s dedication to strengthening and enhancing capacity to serve the nation.
“Thus, we have embarked on resource mobilisation to ensure that officers have the necessary tools, training and support to carry out their duties efficiently and effectively.

“This requires the collaboration and support of government agencies, the private sector and the community at large,” he said.

He said the pillars of effective policing, building partnerships and organisational excellence serve as guiding principles that shape the actions and initiatives of the police.

“I therefore urge today’s graduates as members of the Namibian Police to strive to the best of their ability to uphold the core values of our organisation – courtesy, fairness, friendliness, transparency, helpfulness, non-discrimination, accessibility, integrity, communication and information,” Shikongo said.


Also speaking at the event, president Nangolo Mbumba lauded the security cluster’s work.

Namibia is one of the African countries which is respected and admired for upholding the fundamental human rights and freedoms of its citizens, he said.

“Today, as citizens who enjoy the fruits of freedom, justice and equality, we depend on new heroes and heroines in the form of our uniformed men and women to ensure that the foundations put in place by the founders of our Constitution, namely peace, unity, stability, reconciliation and the rule of law remain intact,” Mbumba said.

He said the recruitment of the new cadets would strengthen the country’s police operations nationwide, as some would be posted to guard Namibia’s borders to bolster security and ensure that criminal elements are prevented from entering the country.

“Peace, safety and security are integral constituents for the development of a nation and the well-being of its citizens.

“Violence, unrest and crime are impediments to our developmental objectives, and hence, as police officers, you are not only the guardians of our peace and security, but also key role-players in our economic development,” Mbumba said.

He said since independence, Namibia has established a reputation as a haven of peace and security.

“It is a country in which citizens and visitors can live, work and play without fear and anxiety.

“Unfortunately, of late, we are witnessing a rise in serious crimes such as murder, armed robberies, burglaries, assaults, drug abuse, rape and violence against women and children,” Mbumba said.

He urged the new graduates to swiftly suppress and prevent crime and lawlessness from gaining a foothold in society.

“You should ensure that criminal elements do not destroy what our heroes and heroines fought and died for.

As true patriots, you should cherish the country we call home and protect its people by preventing criminals from finding rest, peace or shelter in any corner of Namibia,” the president said.

Mbumba said the government has made resources available so that the police could conduct another intake in the 2024/25 financial year, as directed by former president Hage Geingob during his state of the nation address last year.

The event was attended by members of the security cluster from the Southern African Development Community region, including Angola, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Eswatini.

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