EXTRACT FROM THE FOLLOWING THIRD PARTY SOURCE: Namibian Sun
The Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism has finally followed a recommendation made by the first commander of the Etosha anti-poaching unit to transfer officials linked to poaching.
Last year, retired police commissioner Ndahangwapo Kashihakumwa identified a group of ministry employees involved in poaching and forwarded the evidence to Minister Pohamba Shifeta and Nampol Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga.
Kashihakumwa, who was commanding the anti-poaching unit, recommended that these employees either be transferred or suspended pending investigations.
The command of the Etosha anti-poaching unit is rotated every three months among the regional commanders of the five regions surrounding Etosha. These are Oshana, Oshikoto, Kunene, Otjozondjupa and Omusati.
Kashihakumwa was selected by the other four regional commanders to launch the first anti-poaching operation.
This week Namibian Sun discovered that Etosha has new ministry staff. The ministry confirmed that the former staff had been transferred. “It is true that we made a reshuffle in the ministry as part of the anti-poaching investigations that are currently under way. We took some officials from other regions to Etosha, while those from Etosha went to other regions,” said ministry spokesman Romeo Muyunda.
Muyunda said it took time to consider the police recommendation because it is a “sensitive issue” and the proper channels had to be followed. “When people make recommendations, you don’t just jump into a situation, you have to consider a number of other aspects and there are also processes to be followed. These reshuffles are part and parcel of the anti-rhino-poaching strategies we have in place,” he said.
Muyunda would not say how many people were transferred, or what positions they were in. He said investigations were continuing.
Kashihakumwa said he was happy to hear that his recommendation was followed. “You don’t expect to have a successful investigation if insiders who are implicated in the poaching are communicating with investigators. There are witnesses who are willing to talk, but they are afraid of the implicated ones who are in their midst,” the retired police officer said.