RUNDU: Eighteen people were arrested by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the Kavango Region on Monday after they were allegedly found in possession of suspected stolen supporting beams used for NamPower’s metal electricity poles.
The whole Kavango Region and some parts of the Caprivi Region were plunged into darkness last Thursday when 11 metal electricity poles belonging to NamPower were allegedly vandalised some 15 kilometres outside Rundu.
NamPol’s Kavango Regional Commanding Officer, Commissioner Olavi Auanga told reporters at the town on Tuesday that more suspects are likely to be arrested during the course of this week.
The 18 suspects are expected to make their first appearance in the Rundu Magistrate’s Court here on Wednesday.
According to Auanga, some of the people found in illegal possession of the supplying irons have already used it to make donkey carts and ploughs.
He yesterday said a case of sabotage was opened after the power line structures were vandalised, resulting in the power outage.
The 11 metal electricity poles, which under normal circumstances would have been able to withstand the heavy weather conditions, broke during the strong rain and winds as the steel supporting beams supporting the power line structures had been removed by vandals.
Meanwhile, the water supply to most parts of the Kavango Region was restored today.
Rundu residents have been without water since last week as the electricity is needed to pump water to homes, offices and businesses.
However, full-capacity water supply to the region and some parts of the Caprivi Region will only be realised once NamPower completes the repairs and related works to the 11 vandalised electricity poles.
The unavailability of water and electricity badly affected businesses, as some had to close their doors, while others operates at a snail’s pace using generators.
Some shops had to discard their perishable products such as meat, chicken, dairy products and fish, while others put all perishables on sale in efforts to avoid huge losses.