By: Hertha Ekandjo
Outgoing inspector general (IG) Sabastian Ndeitunga officially handed the reins over to his successor, Joseph Shikongo, on Wednesday in a ceremony that was attended by dignitaries from across the country.
Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba appointed Ndeitunga in 2005, succeeding Lucas Hangula.
Ndeitunga said it was a remarkable journey, but after having rendered many years of service to the Namibian nation, he had to rest.
“I fear not being fired because I am already retired,” he joked.
Ndeitunga said that from 1994 to date, he could confirm that the journey was not easy, especially the last 17 years and four months of being the head of the police force.
He added that it was a rough journey, bumpy and sometimes soft, but he managed to finish and accomplish his mission.
“Thank you to the people of Namibia and to those that have assisted me. My appreciation goes to those in leadership, President Hage Geingob, the founding father, Sam Nujoma and former president Hifikepunye Pohamba and all structures of the country’s leadership,” said Ndeitunga.
Ndeitunga handed over the reins of authority to the new inspector-general Joseph Shikongo, who said that being appointed as the IG of the Namibian police force was not just the highest honour but the most outstanding achievement of his career.
He said that he takes it as a huge responsibility placed on his shoulders to ensure public safety and security.
“I know that it is not easy, but with the support of both the men and women in uniform and stakeholders and the public generally, I am confident that together we would deliver and succeed,” said Shikongo.
He noted that he would do the best of his abilities to ensure that they, as the police force, would deliver on their duty.
He noted that the instrument of power that he had just received was a substance of inscription and high responsibility.
“Outgoing IG, I have listened to your handing over speech, and three key items were identically out that I have picked up very well for me to continue handling cooperation with stakeholders both locally and internationally,” he mentioned.
Meanwhile, Home Affairs, immigration, safety and security minister Albert Kawana says that the o
followed the footsteps of Namibia’s pioneers of the liberation struggle.
He added that Ndeitunga had a very good track record regarding his contribution to the country’s liberation struggle and to international, continental, regional and national crime combating efforts.
Kawana said this on Wednesday at the change of command parade held at the Patrick Iyambo police college in Windhoek.
“I was privileged to have worked with someone who is the longest serving inspector general of police in Namibia, if not the whole SADC region, a position he held for the last 17 years. As a result of his institutional memory, it was very easy to work with him,” he said.
The minister added that it was in recognition of these qualities and the outgoing inspector general’s outstanding service to Namibia that he expressed his gratitude and appreciation for his contribution to the Namibian police force’s development and advancement of the regional peace and security agenda.
“I also appreciate his commitment to gender. He promoted a number of our mothers. Today, we have a number of women in police leadership, some of whom are even regional commanders at the rank of Commissioner,” Kawana emphasised.