The killing of Namibian nationals by the Botswana Defence Force remains a thorn in the flesh of local residents, despite the relatively calm security situation, governor Lawrence Sampofu has said.
“The security situation within our borders remains calm. The incidence of the BDF shootings and wanton killings on the Nchindo brothers on 5 November 2020 and other 37 Namibian lives lost since independence remain a serious challenge with our neighbour Botswana,” Sampofu remarked in his state of the region address this week.
“Our residents living along the Chobe, Linyanti and Kwandu rivers are living under constant threats, harassment, fear, intimidation and killings and such activities are condemned and not acceptable.” The border conflict is a result of shared resources between Namibia and Botswana, as residents living along the Chobe, Linyanti and Kwando use the rivers to catch fish for their own consumption, as well as export to Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In an attempt to allay fears among Zambezi residents, President Hage Geingob visited the Nchindo household at Impalila Island in April.
Geingob stated authorities will contemplate the request by the household of the three brothers and a cousin, who had been gunned down by members of the BDF last year, to view the contents of the report into the killing. However, the findings of the joint report have not been made public.
The three brothers, Tommy (48), Martin (40) and Wamunyima Nchindo (36), and their cousin Sinvula Muyeme (44), were shot by the BDF on 5 November on the Chobe River. As of 31 December 2020, the Namibian Defence Force troops were deployed at Kasika, Ngoma, Kapani, Mbilajwe and Mbambazi areas. In March this year, Botswana leader Mokgweetsi Masisi told journalists during a working visit at the Namibian State House that the joint investigation report into the shooting was not yet for public consumption.
At the time, Masisi claimed there was a judicial process that still needed to be completed in Botswana before the report is released to the public. “As is the case in Botswana and the incident took place in Botswana, there is a judicial process.
Unfortunately, for the time being, the matter is sub judice,” Masisi was quoted as saying. “There is a process that still needs to be completed in Botswana. I would advise strongly not for the report to be made public until so authorised by a competent court. The content of the report established all the facts. Let us not go ahead of the truth, until the competent court authorises it.”