OTJIWARONGO, 02 APR – Several stalls at the Otjiwarongo SME Park were broken into Sunday night and goods worth thousands of dollars stolen.
The owners of the small businesses suspect that local boys could be responsible for the break-in as a group of 10 boys allegedly attacked a security guard and ransacked stalls at the SME Park in August 2016.
The business owners, who lost stock such as soft drinks, sweets, meat and music equipment, also said they suspect there was no security guard on duty on Sunday.
They rent the 24 stalls from the Otjiwarongo Municipality, which has a contract with a local security company for the guarding of the property.
Some of the business owners claimed that there was no guard on duty when they arrived there Monday morning.
“When I arrived here there was no security guard,” said Letitia Mutjavikua, who trades from stall 16.
Mutjavikua threatened to stop paying her monthly rental fee of N.dollars 120 if the municipality does not compensate her for the loss she suffered during the break-in.
The stock she lost includes sweets and meat, as well as a three-legged pot.
She estimated the loss to police officers at the scene to be in the range of N.dollars 3 000.
Ennata Petrus of stall 14 said her two CD players, several memory sticks and CDs she plays to attract customers to her stall were stolen.
“They broke the padlock and stole all my goods,” she said.
She estimated her loss at about N.dollars 20 000.
Another victim, Phiilip Kangumba in stall 24 said his computer, speakers and a mini CD player were also stolen.
“My stolen goods are valued at over N.dollars 8 000 and the municipality must pay me for this loss,” he said.
Kangumba urged the municipality to hold regular meetings with the companies it contracts to guard the premises, saying this is the second time he falls victim to thieves as in the previous incident in 2016 he also lost belongings.
Otjiwarongo Municipality Public Relations Officer, Adelheid Shilongo on Monday said she would talk to the relevant departments on Tuesday to get more detail on the matter before commenting.