Located about 200 km north of Otjiwarongo,Coblenz settlement residents blame the police's slow reaction time to crime for the increase in stock theft in the area.

Just this week, residents found the internal organs and skins of about 20 goats and sheep under a bridge five kilometres from Coblenz.

To their dismay, after calling the police, they had to wait for about an hour before the police arrived.

This, the residents narrated, is nothing new from the Coblenz police.

A farmer in Coblenz Settlement, Ambros Lawesie, says, "I called Mwalla, our station commander. I explained to him where the car was heading with the meat, and he said he would call me back. Then, after a while, he called back, asking what I had done. I informed him that I was in Tsumeb by then and the car was on the move. I called Mwalla again, and he did not do anything. Honestly, that's the biggest problem we have in Namibia."

Lawesie has lost 45 goats as a result of stock theft.

Another farmer, Rapupara Tjipura, says stock theft at Coblenz is extremely high as people have formed criminal groups to steal their animals.

"In our area, we have a body called Okatu that is trying to alleviate stock theft. We have one of their members here, and they are really trying but have not managed to reduce stock theft yet. Without a prompt response from the police, things like this will continue."

"What we need right now is for these police officers to be transferred somewhere else and be replaced by serious officers because, honestly, what we have currently is of no help," says Jackson Tjivikua, a member of the Anti-Stock Theft Forum in Okatu.

Kambazembi Royal House senior councillor Alex Tjihokuru says there seems to be division among the police officers at Coblenz.

"They don't understand each other; there seems to be no communication. Once you report a matter to the station commander, Mwalla, he does not talk to his subordinates because there is no communication. These are the things that are breaking down the police. If you want the car, you have to call the person with the police car, and you will be told that there was no communication from above."

The Coblenz station commander, Alfred Mwala, was not prepared to speak to the nbc News, saying he knows how the media works, and just walked away.

The Otjozondjupa Regional Commander, Commissioner Heinrich Tjiveze, is still to comment on the matter.

Photo Credits
nbc Digital News


Eveline Paulus