a senior chief correctional officer of Oluno Rehabilitation Centre in Ondangwa, Wilma Nampala, was arrested last week for heading a prison syndicate that has been stealing about N$202 000 of prisoners’ money.
According to a former high ranking officer in the correctional facility who preferred to remain anonymous, the official is the head of the department responsible for the safe keeping of prisoners’ money.
“The prison has a system in which it opens accounts for prisoners who have money. When prisoners need goods, they are required to fill out a form and write down all the goods they need without handling the cash. Prison officials do the buying and they just present them with the balance in their accounts,” said the source.
He said prison reports suggest that the offence has been taking place since 2010 until recently.
“There is a group that has been sent from Windhoek to investigate the issue at Oluno. I think it’s headed by Commissioner Van Rooyen and Superintendent Philander,” said the source.
All calls made to the arresting police officers at Ondangwa Police Station were referred to the directorate of prisons. After a number of dead ends involving prison officials who refused to shed light on the issue, deputy commissioner Tuhafeni Angula eventually confirmed the incident, but was not able to provide more information on the matter with pending investigation.
“Yes, I can confirm that there was an incident of that nature at that particular institution. However, it is still very fresh that I cannot give more details,” said Commissioner Angula.
He also confirmed that the directorate of prisons has since dispatched a team to Oluno to launch a thorough probe into the matter.
“That is why I can’t give you more information on the matter. The team will present us with their findings on Monday (today) and in the absence of that, I wouldn’t be able to confirm to you the actual amount of money stolen,” said the commissioner.
Meanwhile, V-Metro has established that Nampala appeared in the Ondangwa Magistrates Court last week and was released on bail of N$8 000.