TSUMEB: The 10th annual Tsumeb Copper Festival kicked off here on Wednesday under tight security by Namibian Police and private security forces.
The event is being staged at the UN Park in Tsumeb in the Oshikoto Region, and runs until Saturday.
The event is a business platform, and named the Tsumeb Copper Festival to pay homage to the copper-mining companies which established the town of Tsumeb some 107 years ago.
Copper-mining is still taking place here.
Many local business people and international exhibitors from countries such as Kenya, Zambia, Angola, South Africa and Tanzania take part in the event annually.
The official opening is set for Friday by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Hage Geingob.
Oshikoto Regional Police Commander, Commissioner Anne-Marie Nainda told Nampa here on Wednesday that since this year is the 10th anniversary of the Tsumeb Copper Festival, a high influx of people and vehicles is expected.
“Therefore, we have given priority to root out specific types of crimes to allow our inhabitants and visitors to do business in a safe environment without disturbances from criminals,” she said confidently.
She then warned criminals hoping to steal people’s properties and disturb the peace and safety during the festival, to just forget about it.
Nainda said her officers have teamed-up with the newly-established Tsumeb Neighbourhood Response Watchmen, several private local security companies and the ‘Youths against Crime’ group.
“We will not allow you or your criminal gang syndicates to undermine our mandate of maintaining law and order in this country,” she warned potential criminals, and called on all peace-loving Namibians to come and enjoy the Copper Festival in peace.
Asked about their action plan to keep the peace and safety, Nainda explained that her office established a policing approach specifically meant for this year’s festival.
General safety and security will be maintained throughout the event, and this will be done in the form of mobile roadblocks, as well as foot and vehicle patrols, which started last week already.
“Secondly, road traffic-related offences will be suppressed by our police speed camera crew patrolling the national roads in the area,” noted Nainda.
Lastly, the police have put up a systematic technical policing approach that will ensure that all wanted criminals on the run from the law, potential criminals and drug smugglers are arrested.
The police will also have a stall, where crime awareness campaigns on domestic violence, information on small arms, light weapons and explosive devices as well as drugs and stock theft will be offered to festival-goers.
She thus called on the public to inform her office of any suspicious movements of criminals, and reckless driving on national roads.