…Kanime tells City Police officers
Limited funds in the City Police has led to Chief Abraham Kanime directing his members to think strategically when pursuing suspects.
Although Kanime denied that the directive was sent out because of the precarious financial situation of the City of Windhoek, sources within the force said an increasing number of accidents involving City Police vehicles and public safety concerns are the reasons that led to Kanime issuing the directive.
“It is not a secret that the finances of the City is not so favorable, this is why the Chief cautioned the members to take extra caution when pursuing suspects to ensure that the lives of the public are not threatened,” the source revealed.
The source further stated that: “There are so many of our cars that were in accidents that have not been repaired since last year because there is simply no money.”
Kanime confirmed issuing the directive during an interview earlier this week but denied that it was prompted by a lack of funds.
“There is no relevance between us having money or not and the directive, this is an issue of safety. I urged the officers to always take caution so that they do not end up putting the public in danger. This directive is not new because as a chief one must always remind your member to uphold the professional standards,” Kanime explained.
He further said: “Even if we had enough money, I would still have issued the directive.”
“Why should you pursue a driver who failed to stop at a stop sign, it is better you take the registration number of that specific vehicle so that it can be followed up from there,” he explained.
Just last year, media reports indicated that the municipality of Windhoek conceded that running the City Police is a burden that has led to a continuous financial crisis.
“The financial pressure of sustaining the Windhoek City Police has angered some council bosses who say a lot of money is being spent on the troubled force instead of providing other essential services. Revelations about the municipality’s cash flow problems came to light when reports emerged that its garage is teeming with up to 100 broken down vehicles, which cannot be repaired because of lack of funds,” reported The Namibian in February 2015.
Quoted in the report, the City spokesperson Joshua Amukugo admitted that running the municipal police has become a burden.
“Sustaining the City Police has begun to interfere with the development of the city to such an extent that we cannot keep on without extra sources of income, unless the residents decide to ask the council to do away with security, which is the City Police, Amukugo reportedly said.
Last year the municipality proposed that residents pay an extra N$50 per property a month, while businesses and other properties pay N$100 per month which translates to the municipality collecting close to N$5 million a month to support the activities of the City Police.
“That’s why we need to implement the levy because these guys (City Police) want N$100 million per year, which is usually diverted from funds to service land or run other municipal services,” Amukugo reportedly said.
The role of the City Police is to complement the Namibian Police in crime prevention, law enforcement, traffic policing and enforcement of municipality by-laws and renders 24-hour emergency services such as firefighting, ambulance assistance and rescue services.
The municipality is also in the process of establishing a traffic court-an attempt aimed at diversifying the revenue stream of the City Police.