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Police seek outside help to recapture prison break suspects

Written by on April 23, 2024

The Namibian Police are working with officials in neighbouring countries and members of the public to apprehend the remaining suspects who escaped from the Katima Mulilo Police Station last week.

They have called on the public to assist the police by providing information that may aid the investigation.

On Sunday, the station commander chief inspector Charles Mayumbelo told The Namibian the public’s assistance helped the police find the body of one of the prison escapees.

“They should alert us on anything they see because without the community the police are nothing.”

Mayumbelo equally urged police officers to stay as close as possible to the ground to maintain an open relationship with the community.

“If we distance ourselves from them, we won’t get any information from the community. We are encouraging them, should they come across anything suspicious they should tell us.”

Mayumbelo said his team was contacted on Saturday morning at around 06h00 by members of the public who discovered a body on one of the roads.

“Passers-by discovered a body there, they called us and upon arrival, we discovered it was one of our escapees. According to preliminary investigations, it seems that the person was just dropped there.”

Mayumbelo expressed confidence in the assistance of neighbouring countries regarding the arrests of the remaining escapees after two escapees were re-arrested in Zambia. “The information has already reached Botswana, Angola and Zambia.

“The relationship with all countries is excellent. The information was already shared with these countries. They might contact us at any time. Some of the photos were circulated.”

The two escapees arrested in Zambia are waiting for immigration to intervene so they can stand trial in Namibia.

Charles Mayumbelo


According to the ongoing investigation, inmates were heard singing on the day of the escape.

“Meaning they were busy with something else,” said Mayumbelo.

Chief inspector Kisco Sitali told Desert Radio last week the police station at Katima Mulilo is being renovated. “The prisoners are being shifted to a few of the cells while the contractors are working in the other cells. The current charge office that is running the station is outside of the building, in a tent where it’s a distance from the cells, and it’s difficult for them to hear any noise coming from the cell, but that is not an excuse.”

Sitali asserted that the cells are supposed to be guarded full time and an investigation is ongoing to determine if there was any negligence.

Mayumbelo said the police will investigate how weapons got into the cells.

The police said the suspects escaped by cutting through an iron ventilation section of the roof using saw blades.

“They cut the blanket they were using to climb on top there. They climbed on one another’s shoulders, when one went to tie a blanket on the burglar [bars] on top. They used that to go out.”

The investigations further pointed to the escapees being injured in the process as the deceased inmate and those re-arrested had injuries on their bodies indicating difficulty in landing when they jumped off the roof or climbed through the roof.

“They jumped approximately six metres from the roof on the concrete floor,” Mayumbelo said.

The police are currently interrogating the re-arrested escapees and other prisoners, without success.

Mayumbelo said there is a suspected mastermind involved who the prisoners keep on referring to.

“They don’t want to open up. It seems like they were threatened that they should not reveal anything.

“This was a wake-up call that cell guards must always be on alert.”

According to Mayumbelo, eight of the 11 escapees have been arrested, two are on the run, while one died.

The post Police seek outside help to recapture prison break suspects appeared first on The Namibian.

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