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Two arrested for stealing drought relief food

Written by on May 28, 2024

Two men have been arrested in connection with stealing drought-relief food in the Oshikoto region.

This was confirmed by regional criminal investigation coordinator deputy commissioner Titus Ekandjo yesterday. The food was allegedly stolen at Leeupos Farm in the Guinas constituency.

The stolen items included 34 20kg bags of drought-relief maize, two boxes of cooking oil, seven 24-packs of 400g tins of fish, and two bags of red beans.

The police say the items have an estimated value of N$100 000.

Ekandjo said one of the suspects is an official at the Tsumeb constituency office. The official was arrested yesterday, while the other suspect was arrested at a farm where the food was discovered nearly two weeks ago. Ekandjo said the suspect who was arrested first made his first appearance in court on Friday.

He could not provide the suspect’s name when he was called by The Namibian yesterday.

The suspect who was arrested yesterday cannot be named as he has not appeared in court yet.

Tsumeb constituency councillor Gotty Ndjendjela yesterday said he has heard that an official from his office was arrested, but has not received an official report on the matter yet.

He said there have been allegations of drought-relief food being stolen at his office. “But the investigation has not been completed yet to determine whether food was stolen. Allegations are just allegations, but I have not received a formal report from either the police or head office,” Ndjendjela said.

“There have been no statement from the police that there is a case against this person. I don’t want to confirm or deny anything, because it’s just allegations until I get a document where I can quote from,” he said. The councillor urged individuals stealing drought-relief food to stop. “It’s really a crime, because these people are depriving the needy of their basic needs.

The government is trying by all means to feed the people.

“They must stop doing that. If anyone is caught doing that, the courts must do their job,” Ndjendjela said.

Last month, the media reported that police officers in the Kavango West region were on a manhunt after food meant for the drought-relief programme was stolen at Katwitwi settlement.

According to the police, the food, worth N$39 000, was allegedly stolen from the warehouse where it was stored. The stolen food includes bags of maize meal, cans of beef and fish, as well as bottles of cooking oil.


In January, The Namibian reported that the Ohangwena region’s Disaster Risk Management Unit’s warehouse lost more than N$600 000 worth of cooking oil and other items due to theft.

Seven employees were arrested in connection with this incident on Friday.

In another incident, the Export Processing Zone warehouse at Oshikango was used to store items aimed at improving the lives of those affected by disasters, like floods and drought.

A number of employees from the regional council’s Disaster Risk Management Unit were arrested and are currently in police custody at Oshikango. The Ohangwena region’s crime investigations coordinator, deputy commissioner Zacharias Amakali, says the theft occurred between 29 September and 12 December at a warehouse at Helao Nafidi.

The post Two arrested for stealing drought relief food appeared first on The Namibian.

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