RUNDU – Several police officers in Rundu, among them high-ranking officers, have been summoned to an internal inquiry that starts today over their alleged mishandling of a complainant prior to the case in which five family members were killed in cold blood by a relative, Jesaya Gabriel Chuhunda, 20, who is currently in police custody after the court had denied him bail.
Chuhunda, who bludgeoned to death other family members, is said to be a habitual dagga user who also has history of mental illness.
New Era was informed by a reliable senior police source, who requested anonymity, that the hearing that will start today will end on Friday and 10 police officers will be grilled for suspected negligence that led to the Ndama massacre that could apparently have been averted had the 10 acted promptly and handled the complaint with the urgency it required.
“I will have to confirm with the regional commander, she will be in better position to know,” said Kavango East Police crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Bonifatius Kanyetu, when New Era asked for more information regarding the hearing.
The Kavango East regional commander, Commissioner Johanna Ngondo, said she cannot confirm the hearings, as being the regional commander she might also be part of the group that will be grilled as she is the head of the police in the region. “I cannot confirm it, the police’s legal team might be aware, or speak to the police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi,” Ngondo said.
However, the Namibian Police Force spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi said he was not at liberty to comment until the hearing has been finalised. “Until the outcomes of the investigation and hearing are finalised that’s only when I would comment,” said Kanguatjivi.
Police Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, at the time when details started to emerge about possible police negligence, hinted at swinging the axe on those found wanting and that charges will be formulated against the accused. At the time there was a firestorm of criticism from the public that blasted the police for what the public said was sheer police negligence.
New Era is not yet clear on which officers are going for a hearing exactly but will provide clear information as the hearing goes ahead during the course of the week.
Since the massacre police visibility in the town of Rundu has improved, although they appear to be using only one patrol vehicle because of the current economic crisis that has depleted state coffers.