Police pursue 130 alleged rapists

Confidente Reporter

AT least 130 alleged rapists that have committed the sexual crime in the last four months are on the loose and currently being pursued by authorities, Confidente can reveal.

The hideous crimes were mostly committed against women and girls.

In an investigation, Confidente established that of the 268 rape crimes committed two months before the nationwide state of emergency and also during the state of emergency period, Nampol was only able to apprehend 142 alleged perpetrators.

The shocking statistics come at the backdrop of reduced crime rates in the state of emergency period as previously reported by Confidente.

This week, Police told Confidente that arresting of a suspect is a coordinated process that sometimes takes time as evidence first has to be obtained.

“You do not just make arrests like that. Every case has its own merits and so challenges would vary depending on the case. Sometimes investigations have to be done and you have to get enough evidence so that you are almost 100 percent sure that you are arresting the right person.

“You need to have your facts right and those sometimes, depending on the type of case may take time. So yes, sometimes arrests are made right after the case has been opened but other times, they are only made days after the case has been lodged,” Police told Confidente.

Statistics released by the Namibian Police this week shows that at least 93 of the violated women and children were raped during the past two months of the Covid-19 State of Emergency period while the other 175 were sexually violated within the first two months of the year.

Ohangwena region topped the list with 69 reported cases of rape lodged during the time under review, and also up on the list of regions with the highest rape incidents is Oshikoto region where about 35 people were raped in the last four months while Kavango East had 25 reported rape incidents. Zambezi region had zero reported incidents of rape during the period under review.

Despite this, Namibian Police’s Deputy Inspector-General for Operations, Major-General Oscar Embubulu revealed that due to more visibility of the members of the Security Cluster during the State of Emergency, crime has generally reduced during the State of Emergency period as compared to 68 days earlier.

According to him, during the 68 days before the State of Emergency, 1 639 serious crimes were recorded nationally which dropped to 1 369 during the State of Emergency, accounting for a 16.5% reduction in serious crimes.

Police statistics as well show a decline in the number of assault and GBH cases in the last four months with about 769 cases of assault cases being opened at police stations countrywide.

Namibia has been grappling with the issue of women and children violence as statistics continue to show an alarming increase in the number of abuse and violence towards women, young girls and infants.

The abuses range from sexual harassment and rape, assault and murder.

A social worker at the University of Namibia Nyomonee Tjihukununa noted that when a suspect is out there, the victim is fearful that the perpetrator may one day come back to repeat the crime.

“A victim can never get over rape but knowing the person is arrested and will be punished gives the victim some sort of closure and helps with the healing,” she said.

She went on to say that they have students who have been raped and the suspects involved are usually known but not arrested.

“It can be emotionally damaging knowing that this person is within the society with you. So, you find these victims cannot sleep, they wake up with nightmares…they wake up in the middle of the night and they want to run. Some cannot sleep with the light off others cannot sleep alone, they call friends in the middle of the night to sleep with them so really a suspect being out there is very traumatising.

“You then have a woman who cannot heal, who is afraid and cannot stand to be touched by a male person because she sees them all as monsters. You have victims who start questioning themselves and their self-esteem is destroyed. I have victims who tell me to just counsel them and let everything be.”

Last weekend’s police report showed that at least three cases of rape were opened during the weekend of which two involve minor girls. The third involves a 21-year-old woman who was raped by an uncle near Goreangab Dam in Windhoek.

Confidente understands that the suspected uncle who is believed to be in his early 40s has since fled. The young woman has also been taken to a safe house and is in the care of social workers.

The other incident took place on Saturday when a 12-year-old girl was allegedly raped by an unknown man who found her at a well in Eshii village in the Epembe constituency, Ohangwena region. Police said that the suspect picked the girl up, walked a distance from the well up to the scene where he laid her on the ground and raped her. Police are looking for the unknown male suspect.

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