Youth, City Police in Stand-Off

GOREANGAB dam recreational area was closed off for about two hours on Sunday afternoon after a misunderstanding between leaders of the Affirmative Repositioning movement and City Police officials.

Dimbulukeni Nauyoma, Job Amupanda and George Kambala of the Affirmative Repositioning movement organised what they termed a social gathering at the dam in Windhoek, but city officials soon closed off the area, saying permission was not granted for such an event to take place.

The land activists, however, claimed that permission was granted to them by the acting chief executive officer, Edward Kawesha. In a letter addressed to City Police chief Abraham Kanime, the trio informed him of the gathering which was scheduled for Sunday.

In their letter, they told Kanime that the gathering is to update land applicants on their application forms. They also requested police presence to maintain law and order.

In response, Kanime told the trio that the facility they have applied for is for entertainment and not for public gathering.

He also informed them that in future, an application for a venue should be directed to the chief executive officer of the city of Windhoek, provided that they have received approval from the Namibian Police Force.

Yesterday the land activists criticised City Police for the two hour block, saying their attempts to sabotage their social gathering has failed as it turned out to be a success nonetheless.

Nauyoma argued that they were never told why a social gathering could not take place, “Why do they, all of a sudden, start panicking when it is AR. It cannot be correct that only a few people are subjected to procedures,” Nauyoma said, adding that one can hold a birthday party at the dam without permission.

“We wanted to go and have fun. Is that so much to ask in Namibia? Kanime must know that we are not afraid of him, physically, institutionally and legally. Social gatherings will continue in all towns until we get land.”

Meanwhile, City of Windhoek’s manager for corporate communications and customer care Joshua Amukugo yesterday denied that there was a sabotage from the side of the police.

“It is therefore vital to mention that there was no request received from the Affirmative Repositioning group, and authorisation to utilise the facility was never granted,” Amukugo said.

He explained that apart from ablution facilities which need to be considered, public members also need to be informed well in aance, saying the gathering would take up most of the space making it difficult for other community members to use the facilities.

This, he said, was the reason why the City Police and the caretaker of the facility tried to intervene.

“In terms of the policy, the facility cannot be used for mass meetings, but for recreational purposes and the facility can only accommodate a limited number.”

Backing him up was Kanime, who said the gathering was not done procedurally, thus their intervention.

“That group was unruly. What they did is totally uncalled for. Action will be taken that will allow us to have an amicable everlasting solution this week,” he said.

Kanime said this will enable several public members, including those of the Affirmative Repositioning group, not to repeat what they did. He noted that they are not in any way against their gatherings, but urged that procedures be followed.

Source : The Namibian