GOBABIS: A crackdown on illegal shebeens in the Omaheke Region, similar to the one underway in the Khomas Region, is on the cards, the Omaheke Police Chief warned on Friday.
Namibian Police Force (NamPol) Regional Commander, Commissioner Josephat Abel said the police will soon embark upon a clampdown of illegal liquor trading outlets, and shebeen owners found without proper documentation will be arrested and charged for contravening the Liquor Act.
Although no fix date or time has yet been set for when the operation will be conducted, Abel said shebeen owners without proper documentation now have the chance to get their documents in order, as his force “can strike any time”.
“I will not tell them when my people will roll out this operation. It can be any day or even at night, they just need to be prepared. We consider this to be a serious problem and we are not taking it lightly,” he said.
Abel said shebeen owners have been properly educated and trained on the requirements of the Liquor Act with regard to the operation of the outlets, but only a few seem to have conformed to the stipulations.
“Shebeen owners know of the requirements, they have been informed. We are not going on another education drive; this time we will show them we mean business.
They must not relax and think that what is happening in Windhoek will not happen to them,” he noted.
The regional commander singled out the informal areas at Gobabis, where illegal shebeens appear to crop up almost overnight.
Alcohol abuse at Gobabis has become a chronic problem, with informal liquor trading outlets where cheap traditional brews such as tombo and others are sold, far outnumber shebeens.
Many people, especially the unemployed, spend endless hours at this liquor trading houses, where they indulge in the cheap home brews excessively.
Abel said all liquor trading outlets fall in the same category, and will be dealt with on the same basis, regardless of whether it is a shebeen or a house selling home-brewed liquor.