Vendor assaulted in police raid

By Maria Kandjungu

A 51-year-old Katutura meat vendor is recuperating at the Katutura State Hospital from a serious injury he sustained on his left leg while allegedly in police custody.

David Shambo was arrested on Monday for selling kapana in front of his home in Windhoek’s Havana informal settlement, which according to the police was in contravention of state of emergency regulations.

Khomas Regional Commander, Commissioner Joseph Shikongo confirmed to Confidente that an arrest was made and the suspect is currently in the hospital. He however stated that he was not yet well informed on what transpired or how the suspect sustained injuries but that two cases have been opened against Shambo.

“A case of contravention of state of emergency regulation 6 and a case of obstructing an officer from doing his job and assault through threatening an officer has been opened against the suspect. He was taken to Katutura hospital for an injury sustained and an X-ray has been done. I do not have details of the results,” Shikongo said.

He added that an independent firm that deals with police cases is probing the incident to establish what transpired.   

Festus Hashali, a resident in the area who witnessed the incident narrated to this journalist that he and Shambo were having soft drinks while the latter was also selling meat when three police officers showed up demanding to see the owner.

“They came towards him intending to arrest him, but he started backing away and pleading that they should talk to him before they arrest him. They [police] cornered him and held him in a grip… one kneed him from behind, he fell down hitting his head on the concrete floor,” Hashali narrated.

He further narrated that the victim after being thrown on the ground, dragged about 150 metres and kicked in the face before allegedly being thrown in the back of a police van where the officers allegedly continued to kick him before driving off.

“They dragged him on the ground like a dog. Two were holding him on the legs, one on the arms and they dragged him on the ground while an inspector watched on. I pleaded with them saying they should stop, that they would kill the poor man. I went to pull his [Shambo] pants up as they dragged him and I was telling them that the excessive force they were using was not necessary… I was saying they could just nicely take him away because they had already handcuffed him,” Hashali added.

He said that the incident happened in front of Shambo’s two younger children aged seven and three respectively, who started crying when they saw their father being manhandled.

“I saw my father being dragged… they were kicking him and then they threw him in the police car. It did not make me feel good… I was so scared,” said the seven year-old boy who was on the verge of crying.

Shambo’s wife, Elizabeth said that she found her two youngest children holed-up and crying as the police car drove away.

Confidente however understands that this was Shambo’s second arrest for the same offence. He was previously arrested during the first week of the lock down and fined N$2 000.

She said her husband who was taken to the Wanaheda Police Station later called her asking her to plead with the police to take him to the hospital as his face was swollen and his leg was in pain.

“He called me saying he was in pain and I should go to the station to tell them that he needed to be taken to the hospital. I went to the station and spoke to police officers; they were saying if he was really in pain then he would have told them so I asked an inspector that I knew to help. They later told him to walk to the car but he kept on saying he was in pain and could not walk on his own. After a while, they put him in a wheelbarrow used to carry rubbish.  They lifted the whole wheelbarrow with him in it into the police vehicle and drove him to the hospital like that,” she stated.

She said that even when they got to the hospital, police were mishandling him like a criminal.

“They took his phone and gave it to me saying that he is under arrest. He was guarded by police at the hospital,” the emotional wife added.