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Over 900 complaints against police brought to ombudsman

Written by on May 21, 2024

The Office of the Ombudsman says it has been inundated with 967 cases brought forward against the police by both members of the public and police officers.

These cases range from assaults to staff and employment issues, as well as investigations issues, such as missing documents.

Office of the Ombudsman spokesperson Aurelia David told The Namibian that the cases registered against the police were registered between 1 January 2023 and 16 May 2024.

“The ombudsman regularly receives complaints from police officers and the nature of these complaints range from alleged unfair transfers from duty stations or requests for transfers being ignored to being overlooked for promotions,” David says.

She says members of the public registered cases against the police for assault, while police officers register cases related to their employment matters.

According to David, the Office of the Ombudsman has also received numerous cases registered against the Namibian Correctional Service.

She says, so far, a total of 388 cases have been received from inmates across the country.

David says the types of issues reported to the Ombudsman relate to remissions, parole, medical issues and assaults by correctional officers.

Others include inadequate toiletries, clothing, food and bedding, unhygienic conditions and transfers.

Davids says the ombudsman has also received 184 cases registered against the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security for the period under review.

“The types of issues reported to the ombudsman include issues related to citizenship, passports, prolonged detention and deportation, confiscated documents and domicile,” she says.

A total of 64 cases have also been registered against the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs, ranging from staff and employment matters to veteran status matters.

“As the Office of the Ombudsman, we investigate the cases brought to us. Some have merits or jurisdictions, but we do give a time when the particular institution being reported should respond to. However, another challenge is that many instructions take so long to respond to, making investigations take longer to finish,” David says.


Namibian Defence Force (NDF) chief Martin Pinehas denounced the lack of promotions for long-serving soldiers at the defence headquarters during the conferment of ranks to 20 generals and senior officers in Windhoek last week.

Pinehas called for the fair and equitable promotion of soldiers.

“I want to appeal to you generals and senior officers . . . You yourselves are happy because you have been promoted, but it does not end there. You have people serving under your commands. Our soldiers are complaining.

They are not happy because we do not take care of them when it comes to promotions,” Pinehas said.

He said it is a red flag when soldiers are unhappy.

“We just don’t pay attention. We have members who have been on one rank for more than 10 to 15 years, but they are under our command. What is the problem?
“Please look down and stop looking up. Up is not your responsibility, but looking on those serving under you is your responsibility. I do not want to hear you are running up and down trying to look for another promotion again before you promote those that are under you,” he said.

Namibian Police inspector general Joseph Shikongo, last week said half of the police force has been promoted so far.

Shikongo said since December last year, more than 7 000 police officers have been promoted in the force, which comprises more than 14 000 officers.

Shikongo said promotions are done according to different factors and not all police officers can be promoted at once.

“Promotion is a yearly thing and is given to those who truly deserve it,” he said.

He said his office has been receiving letters from the Office of the Ombudsman containing complaints from police officers.

“If you go to the ombudsman, we will still respond, but complaining through activists and politicians, I don’t think that will solve anything. If you have a grievance, write directly to the Office of the Inspector General, rather than using politicians,” Shikongo said.

“Police officers are not allowed to get involved in politics,” he said.

The post Over 900 complaints against police brought to ombudsman appeared first on The Namibian.

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