Substance Abuse Threatens Vision 2030

Substance abuse and staff shortages are among the major threats to the implementation of Vision 2030. This was the view expressed by the Minister of Safety and Security, Immaneul Ngatjizeko, when on a familiarisation visit to the Karas Region on Monday.

Ngatjizeko said he was concerned that with so many people abusing alcohol and drugs in the region, very few are left to contribute to the development of the nation.

According to the minister the 20th and 25th of each month and when pensioners receive their grants have been identified as the times when alcohol abuse skyrockets in Karas.

“I am informed that before every knife stabbing the people involved have visited shebeens. I understand that domestic violence is a direct result of this alcohol abuse,” he said.

He noted that alcohol abuse is indeed a concern throughout the country, however every police station commander in Karas pointed to its misuse as a major factor in crime statistics in the region.

“The challenge at the border posts is also manpower, when you do not have enough manpower then you will be vulnerable. Drug abuse is a very big challenge, and now drugs filter through to primary school kids.”

He added that the free flow and easy availability of drugs have become a direct threat to the development goals of the country.

“Our government has made primary education free for everyone and one of these days we will also have free secondary education. Our government now offers free education to get people out of poverty, but these drugs are available even at primary schools countering the nation’s goals,” said the safety and security minister.

He pointed out that in response to this evil his ministry stood ready to assist the Karas regional police in rooting out such societal afflictions .

“We are committed to give them anything they want. To make sure that this drug abuse is nipped in the bud,” he said.

He also addressed the staffing challenge in his ministry saying Namibia aspires to have between 36 000 and 38 000 police officers in service by 2030, but currently it has less than 15 000 appointed officers.

“As you know we are busy with recruitment and are planning to recruit 28 00 for 2014, but so far we have less than 50 percent of what we need to have as outlined by our development goals,” he further explained.

He implored police officers to serve as peaceful referees during the upcoming elections, adding that they need to make sure that no conflict or politically motivated violence takes place.

“No conflict or violence is to be tolerated, irrespective of who committed this violence. And the lamppost wars – they must sort them out peacefully,” said the minister.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba has also in recent days condemned political violence, saying party functionaries should rather use the power of persuation and desist from violence

Source : New Era