Illegal fuel buyers to face the music
• BY MARX ITAMALO
PEOPLE that will be found buying or transporting fuel suspected of being smuggled from neighbouring Angola will be charged and prosecuted. This is according to Ohangwena police spokesman inspector Abner Kaume Itumba during an interview this week.
According to him, the police and authorities have discovered with concern of the unabated continuation of illegal fuel purchases along the Angolan – Namibian border.
“What the authorities have discovered is that the illegal fuel trade is still going on despite our best endeavours. We have tried our best to curb the practice but to no avail. That is the reason the law was changed to also arrest and charge the buyers as well,” Itumba pointed out whilst emphasising the regulation does not only apply to Ohangwena region but to the rest of the country.
Itumba pointed out that residents of Ohangwena are expected to carry receipts and proof of purchase when transporting fuel.
“We have discovered that a lot of people are just buying and even transporting oil illegally. That’s why the government decided to put up stringent measures when it comes to dealing with oil. Each person will be required to have the necessary documentation on the fuel they are buying or transporting in order to curb the illegal oil trade of Angolans,” he said.
The sale of fuel from Angola has been and is still a lucrative undergoing for Namibians and Angolans residing along the border of the neighbouring countries. Residents of the two countries would always smuggle fuel from Angola to come and sell in Namibia. The cheap fuel is brought into Namibia illegally through ungazetted entry points through the two countries’ vast and porous border.
The police spokesman further told Confidente that in their quest to curb and thwart crime in the region, especially during the festive season, the police in Ohangwena will set up roadblocks at strategic places.
“Right now we only have two permanent roadblocks at Onhuno and at Oushake on the Okongo main road. As from next week, we are going to have roadblocks set up sporadically at different places all over Ohangwena to control and tame the situation. The festive season is upon us and we will try our best to contain crime in the region,” Itumba said.
Of concern to the police regional leadership, Itumba noted, is the escalating incidents of gender based violence (GBV) in the region.
“It is one of the pressing issues plaguing the region. Ohangwena has become notorious with these cases. We have been busy engaging communities about GBV issues and we understand they have heard. We are one of the most affected regions when it comes to GBV that’s why the national police leadership decided to bring an anti-violence campaign to the region last month,” he stressed.
He further implored members of the public who are faced with gender based issues to contact the nearest police station for assistance before it gets too late.
“Even if you notice your neighbour is being abused, please notify the police while it’s early. Don’t wait until it too late. You can save a life.”
Itumba further cautioned motorists to drive carefully and adhere to road rules and regulations during the festive season.
“My message to motorists and drivers is for them to observe rules of the road. Don’t drink and drive. Lives are precious and need to be saved at all cost. If you had enough give the car to somebody who is sober to drive. Also if you are tired, rest before you continue.” he emphasised.