Travel ban irks

Farmers not permitted to leave coastal towns, while anglers may

15 July 2020 | Local News

Swakopmund • [email protected]


Despite the strict travel ban, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said more than a week ago that police are concerned that residents of Arandis, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are not complying with lockdown rules.

“There are many people who are constantly moving out of the various towns,” Captain Appolus Haimbala, commander of the Marine Corps, said in Swakopmund on Friday.

According to Haimbala, residents of the coast use detours to avoid roadblocks and to circumvent the travel ban. This can destroy residents’ efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19. “We have to fight the virus together,” he said.

Shangula justified the strict travel ban for Arandis, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay based on the increasing number of Covid-19 cases at the coast. He also said that inhabitants are no longer allowed to leave their respective towns.

However, there is still confusion about this, given that no roadblock has been set up between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, with residents commuting as usual. However, travelling to other parts of the country is virtually impossible.

“I live in Swakopmund and can no longer go to my farm,” Tom Zwar told this newspaper.

He applied for a travel permit from the local police to visit his farm near Usakos, but his application was denied.

“The police officer said that he could not help because they could no longer issue travel permits. I have farm workers who are waiting for food, water and other things. What am I supposed to do now? I can’t allow my employees to starve to death,” Zwar said.

He is not alone in this situation. Many coastal residents who own property in other parts of the country are not allowed to travel there.

At the roadblock between Swakopmund and Henties Bay at Mile 11 persons may also not pass without travel authorization.

“I didn’t have a travel permit and told the policeman that I wanted to fish on the beach. He waved me through without further ado,” a reader told this newspaper.

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