ACC raps police over double-arrest

By Eliaser Ndeyanale

THE anti-graft body has told Nampol’s internal investigation department to investigate abuses of power by police officers at Oshakati charge office. This followed the two-day detention of a whistleblower who was allegedly attacked by debt collectors at her house in Ekuku location about two weeks ago.

According to documents obtained from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), six debt collectors from OSK Debt Collectors arrived at the whistleblower’s house, who was identified as Ndeshi, and forcefully collected and repossessed her properties on 28 August.

While the debt collectors were at the house, Ndeshi called the police to come to her rescue. Upon arrival, the police reportedly ordered both Ndeshi and the debt collectors to go to Oshakati police charge office, where she filed a malicious damage to property case against the debt collectors for allegedly having broken her windows.

It is alleged that after she filed her case, a female police officer by the name Linda influenced the debt collectors to open a counter case against Ndeshi.

The police officer allegedly took the debt collectors behind the offices of the police station, following which one of the debt collectors by the name Indileni opened a case against the whistleblower that she (Indileni) had been assaulted by Ndeshi, although Ndeshi denied assaulting any of the debt collectors.

After the case against her was opened, the police office in question (Linda) apparently told Ndeshi that she may not leave the station because she was a suspect. According to details in the ACC report, Linda accused Ndeshi of being arrogant and that she was a suspect and “had to be locked up.”

“As she (whistleblower) was apparently afraid of being locked up in police cells, she decided to withdraw this case, but then a male police officer by the name Pastor apparently said no case in this regard is going to be withdrawn, both parties must just be locked up to learn a lesson.

“The whistleblower and the female debt collector were apparently all locked up since 28 August 2019 up to 29 August 2019 in the same police cell, despite having disputes. The whistleblower clearly indicated that she never had any intention to withdraw her case, she only did due to the police influence she was subjected to [during] arrest and detention.

“Detectives of police internal investigation unit must investigate this matter, since the allegation is based on the abuse of power,” the ACC report recommended.

Ndeshi told Confidente last week that a few years ago she had borrowed money from Sahala Cash Loan in Oshakati and could not pay it back on time but she was surprised that she was required to pay N$8,000, of which she only paid N$6000 before she stopped.   

She was later told to pay N$17,000 which she was also not able to pay, which resulted in the debt collectors showing up at her residence and attempting to confiscate her properties.

Indileni confirmed that she and seven colleagues showed up at Ndeshi’s house after they had been calling her to pay back what she owes. She said Ndeshi had not been forthcoming, hence the move to confiscate her property. “She hit me with a metal bar on my ribs. Then I went to the hospital, when I came back the police told me to open a case against her because she had beaten us up,” she added.