Chinese government donates security equipment

Combating inmate attacks
Nikanor Nangolo
The Chinese government donated security equipment worth N$7 million to the Namibian Correctional Service (NCS).

The donation included 1 500 helmets, 1 600 step resistance vests, 1 500 knee guards, 1 500 elbow guards and 1 500 step resistance gloves.

According to the deputy minister of home affairs, immigration, safety and security, Daniel Kashikola, the crucial donation by the ministry of public security of the People’s Republic of China through its embassy in Namibia, came at a time when the ministry, particularly the department of Namibian Correctional Service, is struggling with an increase in incidents of riots, fights and assaults occurring in correctional facilities. “In the financial year 2021/2022 the Namibian Correctional Service recorded two riot incidents, one at Hardap Correctional Facility and another one at Keetmanshop Correctional Facility. At Hardap, four officers were stabbed by inmates and three inmates were injured while at Keetmanshop, four officers and four inmates were injured. These two incidents all point to the need for protective equipment as those that we are receiving today,” Kashikola said.

He added that the equipment will greatly contribute and enable the NCS to deal with dangerous situations. “It will appropriately arm our emergency response units and build their confidence and courage to deal with dangerous situations.”

Raphael Hamunyela, the commissioner-general of the NCS, said in his acceptance remarks that the donation materialised after a courtesy call to Yang Jun, the chargé d’affaires in the embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Namibia. “I informed him about the various challenges that the Namibian Correctional Services is facing, including our insufficient capacity to handle violence and inmates’ attacks. The Chinese embassy in Namibia then committed to assist the NCS through the donation of this equipment in order to address the issue of injuries sustained by our correctional officers in particular.”

Yang Jun said the levels of fear over crime are on the rise. “The law enforcement departments of the Namibia government have done a lot to improve the security environment, but they suffer from fiscal constraint.”

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