Friday 23 April 2021
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Katutura community lives in fear

…. as known drug merchants roam freely


Residents living along the well-known Shanghai Street in Katutura have urged the police to do more to crackdown on those who are threatening the peace of law-abiding people.
Inhabitants say they’re living in fear, reporting open drug dealing.
According to one resident, violence, drug and alcohol problems mean that many living in the area have already lost their loved ones.
The Namibian Police say they are working tirelessly to apprehend the culprits, while at the same time noting that there are police officers in cahoots with drug dealers which makes it difficult to fight the scourge of drug addiction.
According to the Police Force, they have constantly called on community members to report any illegal activities.
Several houses in Shanghai Street have come under scrutiny by “Wambo lokasie” residents for perpetuating drug usage in the area, and residents feel the presence of drugs has provided fertile grounds for the crime, alcohol abuse and teenage pregnancies.
The residents, who reiterate that they have lost hope in reporting such matters to the Police say they have long forgotten the comfort of a good night’s rest fearing for their lives and properties.
Young girls, mostly school going have fallen victim to drugs such as Tik, Mandrax and Marijuana.
So much is the addiction, said one of the residents who did not want to be named, that girls are having sex with drug dealers in return of the deadly substances.
Tipped off on the matter by the residents, The Patriot visited the street recently after sunset to ascertain the fears of the community.
As the team positioned itself across one of the houses known for drug dealing, a constant in-and-out movement of people raise eyebrows regarding the activities carried out there. Some men get dropped off by a taxi and in less than 5 minutes, they are out.
The team also observed a group of young girls going into the house. Judging by the look of their faces, they could be as young as 20.
Out in minutes and in goes another and so the routine continues. The residents say the street is busiest between 03h00 and 04h00.
The team drives to a nearby bus stop hoping to meet some of the ladies who walk into the same direction. In a black long coat, dresses to cover a full bedroom attire, one of the young girls walks past. She appeared desperate indeed, with limited evidence  as far as personal hygiene is concerned.
We flashed our car lights and called her a little closer. Without hesitation, she turns around and walks to the car.
“Business?” she says.
“How much”, we asked.
“N$50 for one round,” said the young girl who looked like she could still be in school.
“How old are you and why are you doing this to yourself?” we asked, but without answering she walks off.
The Patriot is informed that the drugs cost as little as N$50, the same price the ladies charge for sex.

Residents speak out
“These are young girls who we know from these streets. Some go to school so you will see them in the uniforms in the morning and walk the streets at night. A lot of them have dropped out of school while others have become teenage mothers,” said a concerned Sam Iyambo.
Crime in the area has become prevalent with residents well in the know of who the culprits are, but they say nothing is ever done.
The word is that when these young men are under drug influence, just like the girls, they will do anything to get money.
“We don’t sleep because these boys will enter your house even when they know you are there. They will rob anyone they see.
We know them and even when they are arrested, they come out within a few months and start doing the same things. So we are always on the watch for these boys,” said Iyambo.
An elderly woman from the area narrates how the street transformed from a peaceful area to what it is today.
“Ouma” Vickey Naholo said it is puzzling how known culprits are never brought to book, she blamed the police for covering illegal activities.
“If a house is broken into in this area, we know that chances are high we will find stolen items at that[where drugs are sold] house.
We report but apparently the police never finds anything. We are losing so many young girls because of whatever evil things they sell in that house, but nothing is changing.
We have policemen and women who live in the location and also know about this house but nothing is happening,” said a concerned Ouma Vickey.
“These girls are on the streets all night selling their bodies and you can see that they are not in their right state of mind.
Many of these young girls and boys who break into houses come from broken houses where they are being told to go to school.
But the biggest issue here is the guys who sell these drugs. They are really destroying young lives,” she added.

Police and drugs
Approached for comment, Police Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga said the force needs to find different ways to capture the culprits while also dealing with force’s personnel who are in cahoots with the criminals.
A few officers who have been found in the wrong proximity have already faced the wrath of the law with hints the more heads could roll, he said.
“On top of these criminals working together with police officers, they have also become smart in ways to hide these illegal substances.
We will also deal with the police members who are working together with criminals because they are making our work very difficult and at the same time creating a bad image for the entire police force,” said Ndeitunga while requesting details of the location of the house in Shangai Street.

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