The illegal crossing of goods and people along the border between Namibia and Angola is proving to be a situation that cannot be successfully controlled by the law enforcement agencies.

This is the view of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security Minister Dr. Albert Kawana.

Dr. Kawana said this today at Oshakati after he had toured areas along the border in Kunene, Omusati and Ohangwena regions.

The Minister is on a familiarization mission along the northern border, visiting both legal and illegal entries and exit points. His mission will continue until Kavango West and East and Zambezi regions.

Speaking at the Ministry of Finance’s Customs and Excise offices in Oshakati where there is a warehouse storing lots of goods which have been confiscated along the border over the past few years, Kawana said that what he has discovered so far during his border visits is that some of the laws in place to control the movement of goods and people across the borders do not speak to the situation on the ground.

“You find that families are actually cut in two by the border. A mother might be on one side of the border while the daughter or some other family members are on the other side. While the law says all movement of people and goods must pass through the designated points, the situation is so difficult to control,” Kawana said.

“The mother who is on the other side of the border wants to supply food items to the family on the other side; these items are for consumption and not for commercial purposes. Now what must we do as law enforcement officers in order to facilitate free movement of goods for the benefit of the people? We need guidance,” Kawana said.

Another challenge the Minister found has to do with school children who have to cross the border daily from home to school, as well as those who access health services from the Namibian side while they have their homes on the other side of the border.

“The reality on the ground is that on the Angolan side the areas are not so well developed, so that even to buy groceries people have to cross into Namibia.”

Speaking at the same meeting the Inspector-General of the Namibian Police told the Minister and the Deputy Executive Director in the Ministry of Finance Mr Thadeus Simataa that the police need guidance as to what must be done since despite the police’s best efforts the situation is simply not getting under control along the border between Namibia and Angola.

“The situation is getting out of hand when it comes to illegal fuel import into Namibia and consumable goods across the border. We need to be given a clear picture as to what items must not be brought in at all, we need guidance so as not to cause a lot of inconvenience to members of the public who want to make ends meet,” Ndeitunga said.

In the photo: Minister Dr. Albert Kawana, accompanied by Police Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, Oshana Regional Commander Commissioner Rauha Amwele, Finance Deputy Executive Director Thadeus Simataa and other officers looking at the piles of goods confiscated along the border.