ONGWEDIVA, 02 JUN – The Popular Democratic Movement’s coordinator in the Ohangwena Region has expressed concern at the manner in which the police deal with fuel smuggled into Namibia from Angola.
Hidipo Hamata in an interview with Nampa on Friday said the Ohangwena police keep containers of petrol and diesel they confiscate in an old shack at the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) headquarters at Eenhana and he fears it poses a danger to the community.
“There could be an explosion should there be a fire nearby and people could get injured,” he said.
The PDM coordinator said the police should stop storing the fuel for extended periods of time and should clear the storage by way of an auction as soon as possible.
Hamata further said residents also put themselves at risk.
“A lot of people are smuggling fuel into the country from Angola. They store it in their shacks and sell it to motorists in Namibia.”
He said this mostly happens at the Oshikango residential area of Helao Nafidi and at settlements along the Namibia-Angola border.
“If any of those houses catch fire, all other houses in the vicinity could be destroyed,” he said.
Approached for comment, NamPol’s commander in the region, Commissioner Shinedima Shindinge said Hamata got to know of the storage when he took him to see where fuel is kept after the PDM coordinator alleged that police officers were using the fuel.
“He falsely went around telling people police officers are filling up their personal cars with the fuel they confiscate from individuals who smuggle it into the country from Angola,” Shindinge explained.
He said the fuel will be disposed of during a government auction, possibly in August this year.
“The Ministry of Mines and Energy is aware of the situation and something will be done soon to address it,” the commander said.