by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE Bank of Namibia has reverted to stage one of lockdown.

This comes after it was established that some of its staff members reside at a complex where the country’s Covid-19 case 33, the alleged fugitive from South Africa was apprehended.

Case 33 is a 35-year-old Namibian with South African citizenship.

He fled from South Africa into Namibia, crossing the Orange river in a canoe.

“Out of abundance of caution, and to protect the wellbeing of staff members, the bank has taken a decision, as a precaution, and with effect from 17 June 2020, to revert to the stage 1 approach of only allowing essential services that are not able to work from home to work from bank premises for a period of 14 days, or as directed by their respective heads of department,” the director of communications Emma Haihambo said in an internal memo.

She further said the central bank would also be hosting virtual meetings and avoid face-to-face meetings with stakeholders in all interactions.

“Additionally, the bank’s premises will be disinfected, starting tomorrow (Wednesday). The bank will continue to monitor developments and communicate on the next steps in consultation with the authorities,” Haihambo said.

Kazembire Zemburuka

In response to the leaked memorandum, deputy corporate communications director Kazembire Zemburuka said the internal lockdown is not due to a staff member having been in contact with the alleged fugitive.

“The circulating memorandum was meant for the staff of the bank, informing them of a precautionary decision taken as a result of possible exposure to a Covid-19 case,” Zemburuka said.

He said the bank remains dedicated to protecting the well-being of its staff members and the public should not panic as all necessary measures have been put in place to adhere to health protocols.

Case number 33 is a 35-year-old Namibian with South African citizenship and was arrested in connection with alleged organised criminal activity.

He was apprehended on Saturday at the said complex in Windhoek’s central business district.

The alleged fugitive is currently isolated in police custody.

The Namibian has learnt that the man visited the flats on Saturday at 13h00 and only left at 19h00 on Saturday, while sanitising only took place after he left.

He fled from South Africa into Namibia, crossing the Orange River in a canoe.

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