By: Kelvin Chiringa
Three Wanaheda Police Station constables were arrested and have appeared in court on charges of solicitation and extorting money from foreigners, the Anti Corruption Commission’s (ACC) spokesperson, Josephine Nghituwamata, has confirmed.
They are Erastus Hashipala, Gilbert Owoseb and Pinehas Ikanda.
The ACC has said that one of the accused persons has been the subject of an investigation by the corruption watchdog for quite some time.
This is after the ACC received a report of some police officials demanding money from arrested foreign nationals under the pretext of not having legal documents.
The ACC said after a thorough investigation, they carried out a sting operation that led to the arrest of Constable Hashipala and Owoseb on the 13th of January 2022, as well as Constable Ikanda on the 14th of January 2022.
“The constables aged 30, 28 and 37 are charged with corruption for contravening the provisions of Section 43 and 46, of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2003 (Act No. 8 of 2003). It is alleged that the Constables arrested foreign nationals suspected not to have legal documents to live in the country and detained them without any case registered against them.
“It is further alleged that the Constables demanded payments from their detainees in exchange for their release instead of reporting them to the Immigration Authority. The Constables allegedly solicited money in the range of N$1 000 to N$3 000, and close to ten (10) foreign nationals are alleged to have paid bribes through this scheme,” said the ACC.
The three are currently in police holding cells and are set to appear before the court on the 30th of March 2022 as an investigation is still being finalized.
Nghituwamata has, in the meantime, expressed that the ACC is concerned over some government officials, especially law enforcement officers, who occupy positions of trust but continue to misuse their power to enrich themselves through corrupt dealings.
She said law enforcement officers are expected to protect and uphold the law and not break it.
“The commission commends all those who participate in the fight against corruption. It further urges those in positions of trust to perform their duties diligently, ethically and uphold a high level of integrity at all times.
“In the words of Director-General of the ACC Mr Paulus Noa, “to fight corruption, every single person, young and old, has a role in preventing and countering corruption to promote resilience at all levels.” Therefore, everyone must take a pledge to be part of the fight against corruption and have the courage to report suspected acts of corruption so that the corrupt may be exposed and face the consequences,” she said.