Brilliance of career sOLDIER
Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 10:30
The former police regional commander for Oshana, retired Commissioner Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa was considered one of the most successful senior police officers before his early retirement in 2015.
When he was appointed Oshana Regional commander in 2007, the region was one of the most crime-prone areas in Namibia second only to Khomas.
“Oshana, with its three business hubs of Ondangwa, Ongwediva and Oshakati, was a target of choice and also the favoorite hiding place for hardcore criminals who commit crimes elsewhere. This posed a challenge,” he said.
He said his approach was to immediately establish a good working relationship between the police and the public in order to isolate the lawless elements. “We eventually established the Women and Men Network Against Crime and our efforts proved successful. Public cooperation made it possible,” he said.
Kashihakumwa said he applied the same formula when he was tasked to conduct an anti-poaching operation in the Etosha National Park, but his ground-breaking recommendations, including the transfer of Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) staff suspected of collaborating with poachers to curb the menace, was ignored by the authorities.
Kashihakumwa, a Lutheran pastor’s son, said his father was a humble man. “He is my role model. I learned from him. I never asked for promotion,” he said. Born at Eenhana in the Ohangwena Region in 1958, Kashihakumwa was attracted to the liberation politics at an early age. He went into exile and joined PLAN in 1975, becoming the bodyguard of field commander Ponhele Ya Frans in 1976.
He served as platoon commander and detachment commander in quick succession in 1977; trained as radio operator in Lubango; as intelligence officer in Cuba and as VIP protection officer in the Soviet Union.
In 1989, Kashihakumwa was then given the unique responsibility of ensuring the personal safety of the founding father Dr Sam Nujoma. It was in that capacity that he travelled to Namibia disguised as a soccer player of an Angolan team that visited Windhoek in April 1989.
He joined the Namibian police in March 1990. He also worked for the NDF and as an internal investigator at the Ministry of Works before re-joining the police in 1996 to establish the VIP protection division. Currently he serves as consultant to a private security company.