|Swartbooi in turf battle with NamPol|
|Thursday, 27 January 2011 09:13|
FIREBRAND Karas Governor Bernadus Swartbooi has found his match in NamPol after head of police in his region complained about his ‘unbecoming behaviour’ and called on higher authorities to call him to order.
NamPol Karas Regional Commander, Commissioner Josephat Abel, has written to his boss Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga asking him to act on the Governor’s alleged unprofessionalism after a heated encounter recently.|
Ndeitunga confirmed receiving the report saying he has submitted it to Safety and Security Minister, Nangolo Mbumba.
Speaking from Lusaka, Zambia yesterday, Ndeitunga said Abel’s report raised complaints about the Governor’s “unprofessional behaviour when dealing with other officials”.
“He allegedly wants the police and the army to report to him. He also chased the Commissioner out of his office because he stopped the escort,” Ndeitunga said.
According to Ndeitunga, Governors were not entitled to police escorts.
“The report also alleges that Swartbooi told Abel that he would hold him responsible should anything happen to his car,” said Ndeitunga.
However, Ndeitunga said that he was yet to get Swartbooi’s version of the dispute.
“I have not heard from the Governor yet. I need to hear from both sides but for now I have channelled the report to my line Minister,” Ndeitunga said.
In the report which was shown to Informanté by a source, Abel accuses Swartbooi of overstepping his jurisdiction by demanding authority over the police.
Apparently Swartbooi had asked Commissioner Abel to supply him with a permanent escort but this demand was rejected.
Abel, in the report further says that Swartbooi is now blaming him for turning down his request.
He also recounts an encounter at the Governor’s office on January 18 where he alleged that Swartbooi verbally abused him and pointed fingers at him in a confrontational manner in the presence of his Deputy Commissioner Tsuseb.
Detailing how Swartbooi allegedly verbally abused him, Abel quotes the Governor saying, “Commissioner Abel, I will fight you if you are fighting me.”
Abel also accuses Swartbooi of being rude towards him and asks Ndeitunga to do something about the Governor’s alleged unbecoming behaviour.
Yesterday Swartbooi dismissed the allegations saying, “These people really have a problem with a young person being appointed in such a position and some people are uncomfortable. They are irritated by my pace of work, but President Hifikepunye Pohamba wants results.”
He denied demanding anything but said that the police were responsible for his safety.
“I did not demand for anything I cannot demand, but the police are responsible for my security.”
He, however, admitted that he summoned Abel and his deputy to seek solutions to improve the situation around the police canteen since it was currently running like a shebeen.
Swartbooi also confirmed that he asked the commissioner to leave his office when the meeting heated up.
“The commissioner refused to leave and I left,” Swartbooi said adding that he would deal with police issues at a relevant platform. Sources from the Karas Governor’s office have dismissed Abel’s report saying it was all to do with Swartbooi’s clamp down on the Police canteen and shebeens in Keetmanshoop.
“Everything was fine until the Governor ordered the closure of the police canteen. That’s when both the army and the police’s attitude towards him changed,” the sources said.
Before this order, the sources further said, both the police and the army had assured the Governor of their support.
“Abel even ordered that the single police escort should be withdrawn. It is not true, therefore, that the Governor demanded a convoy,” the sources further alleged.
Informanté understands that Swartbooi has told those close to him that he now fears for his and his family’s safety because of the standoff.
“He is very seriously worried about his personal safety and security and that of his family,” the source said adding that he feared the police were out to get him because of his stance on shebeens.
Even Abel in his report appears to be confirming this because he quotes Swartbooi saying that he would hold him responsible for anything bad that happens to his car.