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Anuwa? Part 26

By M'kwanailya wa Mweuta
The incident at Ella du Plessies where a grade 10 learner was killed in cold blood has once more raised the issue of lack of customer service and training among various service providers.

It is not a secret that almost all security guards are those with low education background. It is also not a secret that security guards are the lowest paid, yet they are constantly faced with danger in their eyes every day. There is no doubt that the trigger happy guard acted beyond his mandate. We are all aware that at least to scare a person one should shoot in the air and if one's life is in danger then one should aim lower at the legs. May his soul rest in real peace; the learner anuwa was also not an innocent victim. There is no justification to shoot either armed or unarmed student but the fact remain our children are really out of hand. Imagine school management call in reinforcement from the Namibian police to control a drunken learner harassing teachers and students alike.

It is common knowledge that being a security guard in Namibia one must digest all sort of insults the common one being "you are just a security guard". Indeed they are, but we all need them to protect our properties and lives. One will argue that they ransack and steal these properties but then stealing is high among professional s too! In fact, only a fraction of theft cases in courts are committed by those who suppose to guard them. The rest is by the elites!

So, amid the confusion of insults, low salary and harsh employment a condition there is no guidance from the employees on how those interacting with different kind of drunkards and sober people should behave. Teaching them how to treat the people they interact with on daily basis is called customer service! Too many reports on violent behaviour from the guards, is an indication that no training in whatever field is being ever given to these people. The only training they go through is fitness training.

Security companies are simple not willing to part with their money to invest in their human capital. It is not acceptable to reason that most of the security guards do not comprehend the official language hence they might also not gain anything from the training. Manuals should be translated in their language they understand and teach them that:

- Security guards especially those at gates and receptions are part of frontline personnel and they are the first to engage the irate, disappointed or ill -informed.

- They engage with customers who had already unpleasant experience with the institution and who are coming to "fix someone/ something "and anyone in their way will know it.

- Their role is to give empathy.

- The gates and entrances they guard are known as moment of truth -this is where the institution has the opportunity to demonstrate the quality of its services to its customers.

Unfortunately, only a motivated, satisfied, oriented security guard can deliver the above. Anuwa these are not part of their employment package. Ask any security company to motivate its employee and you will hear" there are many in the streets".

With such attitudes from the employers, we will continue hearing customers being harassed and killed by guards.


SWAPO Headquarters Mandume Strt
Windhoek, Katutura