Trees fall to fight crime

Tanja Bause
Over the past two weeks, several trees have been felled and pruned in the Klein Windhoek River on the corner of Schanzenweg and Nelson Mandela Avenue as well as opposite the mosque in Nelson Mandela Avenue.
"The municipality is busy with bush control measures all over the capital as part of its open space management programme. This initiative involves the pruning and – in some cases – the removal of invasive species such as prosopis, eucalyptus and willows.
"Our primary goal is to improve visibility and combat potential criminal activities in various suburbs of Windhoek," the City of Windhoek (CoW) said in a statement.
According to the spokesperson of the Windhoek city police, Superintendent Marcelline Murapo, they specifically identified the area opposite the mosque in Nelson Mandela Avenue.
"In the area there are many adult children - as we call them - because they are adults and not street children who are involved in criminal activities.
"They live in the river and peddle drugs. They brew and sell tombo and they protect and help burglars to hide."
The city police remove them, but they don't stay away long before they return and continue their criminal activities.
"We work with the city's parks department and only trees that can be legally cut down have been cut down. The rest was pruned to make the area more visible and hopefully in that way to get the criminal activities under control," she said.
"Please be assured that the City is committed to preserving the environmental and ecological integrity of our open spaces. It is our collective responsibility to ensure a safe and environmentally friendly Windhoek," reads the CoW's statement. – [email protected]