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Help protect tourists

To the Editor
Theft from vehicles in Rundu, as with many other centres, seems to be an escalating problem, specifically amongst the tourism sector. Many self-drive and hired tourist vehicles as well as larger group vehicles and buses are being targeted by petty thieves who are becoming bolder, breaking into these vehicles and taking what they can. Many of the group vehicles which routinely stop at Rundu to buy supplies for their guests are now no longer doing so and choose “safer” towns along the way to meet their needs. The escalating boldness of the thieves may also reach the frightening point where firearms or other weapons are being used, with the possibility of fatalities or injury to visiting tourist and guides.This is of course a great concern to us if we are to make a success of marketing our routes, and we would like to include the town of Rundu in this income-generating and exposure opportunity.

In view of the supportive attitude of NAMPOL in Rundu towards the tourism sector, I recently met with Deputy Commissioner Willie Bampton with whom we discussed this issue. He has given me a direct number of the Tourism Task Force (Police Inspector Eben Muyambo – 0812471018) as well as his personal cellphone number (0811290051), which can be used by members of the tourism sector who are nearing Rundu and plan to stop here. They are then prepared to assign NAMPOL members to escort or guard the vehicles while shopping in Rundu to discourage and hopefully stop theft. We hope that this will alleviate the fears of tourist vehicle theft in the sector, and we encourage tour operators to keep on using Rundu as a stopover. I would therefore encourage all to make use of this offer and report back to me on either positive or negative outcomes.
Mark Paxton
Shamvura Camp
Kavango Region

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