Namibians have until 18 November to surrender all illegal firearms, ammunition and war materials to the police without being prosecuted or face the wrath of the law.
Police Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, officially declared Amnesty for the surrendering of all illegal firearms, ammunition and armaments in Namibia.
He said that a decision was taken by Cabinet to publish a government gazette authorising amnesty to surrender all illegal firearms to the authorities.
The period of surrendering these weapons in terms of Government Gazette No 165 has already started from 18 August and will continue to 18 November for all Namibians to surrender any illegal weapons.
Ndeitunga said that the government is concerned about the proliferation of illegal weapons and ammunition that have been discovered by police during operations conducted nationwide.
According to him, the reason why there are still so many illegal firearms in Namibia is because of the Angolan and South African war conflict when war materials were acquired by many citizens.
He said from 2013 to 2015 police have confiscated 560 illegal firearms.
He was, however, unable to say how many illegal weapons have been confiscated this year already.
“This year is a big number, but they may still be tied up with investigations in court cases,” he said.
He said the police conducted an extensive operation on illegal firearms and arrested certain individuals who were found in possession of machine guns, ammunition and war materials.
He stressed that under the Arms and Ammunitions Act, the possession of machine guns by members of the public is prevented.
These types of weapons, Ndeitunga said, are only allowed to be in the possession of the Namibian Police, the Namibian Defence Force and in some cases the Correctional Services.
Ndeitunga stressed that they are, however, very concerned about the increasing numbers of firearms as these dangerous weapons are out in public domain and posing a threat to the safety and security of citizens.
“Illegal firearms in irresponsible hands are a great concern and are used in violent crimes,” said Ndeitunga.
He explained that an amnesty was declared in 1992 where members of the public were engaged to surrender all illegal firearms and war weapons in their possession without delay. In spite of this, certain individuals are still in possession of such arms.
Ndeitunga especially urged farmers to hand in illegal firearms adding that there has been a problem with the farming community and them having illegal weapons and war materials hidden on farms.