Kunene communities without food since Dec

KEETMANSHOOP: Twenty-nine boys and girls aged between 14 and 17 were rounded up by the police at clubs and shebeens in the //Karas Region over the weekend.

Twenty-four of the learners were arrested in Keetmanshoop and at the Noordoewer settlement, while the remaining five were arrested at the Aussenkehr settlement on Friday and Saturday.

The exercise forms part of efforts by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) here to keep learners and underage people at home as most of them go to shebeens and clubs to consume alcohol, amongst other things.

Speaking to Nampa on Tuesday NamPol’s //Karas Commander, Commissioner Armas Shivute said the youngsters were taken to police charge offices where their names were registered. They were then taken home.

“Some of the parents were shocked to be woken up at night just to be told their children were brought home by the police as they were found at bars. Some even started beating their children in front of the police but they were stopped,” Shivute said.

He explained that some parents applauded the police for their good work, but others were not happy that their children were brought home after being found drinking alcohol while under-age.

“Some parents were not cooperating. They said it is the children’s right to do what they want, which is not a good thing for parents to say as we need to work together and raise children the right way,” said the police commissioner.

He said some learners had sneaked out of hostels to go to clubs, and he called hostel supervisors to make sure that this does not happen again.

“We really want to help show the children the right way of living. The matrons, parents and teachers must call the police if they find children at bars or sneaking out of the hostel to go and drink,” Shivute said.

He also warned the owners of such establishments not to sell liquor to underage youngsters, or to allow them onto their premises especially at night, as they could also face consequences.

Shivute said his office will decide on a fair way to deal with business owners who sell liquor to children and allow them to mingle with their elders at places where alcohol is sold.

He indicated that the police will continue carrying out similar random operations across the region to curb under-age drinking, adding that such behaviour from young people will lead to them failing school.

On a different note, the commissioner said the police will act against people who do not employ security guards at their businesses, as guards can help prevent fights from escalating.

“Bar owners must not allow any fight to take place at their premises, people are being killed in such fights and we need to put an end to that. Whoever will be found allowing such things, we will recommend that the Liquor Board suspend their liquor licences,” he threatened.

Shivute’s comments came after five people were stabbed to death in Keetmanshoop and Karasburg between Friday to Sunday – most of them at shebeens.