WINDHOEK: Khomas Regional Police Commanding Officer, Commissioner Festus Shilongo says the police will continue enforcing the Liquor Act of 1998 by closing all illegal shebeens in the capital and other towns in the region.
Shilongo said at a media briefing here on Wednesday that he has once again instructed all Khomas-based police station commanders to start closing down illegal shebeens in their respective areas.
“We will not only concentrate on the closing-down of the illegal shebeens, our operations will also ascertain whether the sale of liquor at bottle stores and authorised dealers is being done within the confines of the country’s laws.
Equally, the police in the Khomas Region will see to it that no person drinks alcohol while on the streets or outside bottle stores,” he charged.
Shilongo made it clear that the continuation of the enforcement of the provisions of the Liquor Act of 1998 has nothing to do with politics, and said it should not be politicised by members of the public.
He further stated that the police responsible for the Khomas Region will continue to enforce the provisions of the Liquor Act in the interest of peace, security and law and order in the region and surrounding areas, and this should be understood by members of the public as such.
Shilongo also appealed to all law-abiding citizens to support the police’s operations and initiatives in order to help control crime in the region and surrounding areas, and warned the owners of such outlets to stop the sale of illicit alcohol.
Illicit alcohol is classified as alcohol products that do not comply with Namibian legislation with regards to packaging, labelling, content, composition and tax evasion.
Some liquor outlets still trade in such types of alcohol although these have been declared illegal, mainly due to its content.
Since July this year, the Khomas regional police have issued a number of fines to illegal shebeen operators in Katutura, Khomasdal and several informal settlements.
Fines range between N.dollars 1 000 and N.dollars 4 500.
A fine of N.dollars 4 500 is payable for operating a shebeen without a licence, while a fine of N.dollars 2 000 is payable for operating a shebeen with a licence, but not according to the regulations stipulated on the licence.
The police commissioner also cautioned shebeen owners not to encourage customers to become violent, or to attempt to obstruct the police while they are performing their duties.
On 13 June this year, both the Windhoek City Police and NamPol began closing down all unlicensed shebeens and bars in the region and surrounding areas.
Senior officers of the two law-enforcement units told a community meeting at the time that they decided to enforce the law as per the provisions of the Liquor Act of 1998 regarding the control and sale of alcohol because the incidents of crime emanating from the misuse of alcohol in Windhoek and the Khomas Region kept increasing.