In a display of solidarity following the brutal shooting of four family members last week by the Botswana Defence Force BDF, a series of protests have been organised for tomorrow in Windhoek and Katima Mulilo.
The Windhoek demonstration will be held in front of the Botswana High Commission, while demonstrators in Katima Mulilo will march to the office of the regional governor and submit a petition at 12h00.
The demonstrations are in response to the killing of three Namibian fishermen and their Zambian cousin, who were fatally shot by members of the BDF last week on Thursday night between Impalila Island and the Kasika village on the Chobe River.
The BDF this week confirmed the killing of brothers Wamunyima (36), Martin (40) and Tommy Nchindo (48), as well as cousin Sinvula Munyeme (44), claiming the four were killed after they were suspected to be poachers.
The assertion has been dismissed by family members, claiming the four, who were unarmed, were killed “execution style”.
Family members yesterday said they are not satisfied with the government’s response hence the demonstrations.
“What we want is answers that we still have not received. We are hearing the Botswana government version of the event. Where is the Namibian police version of events? We feel as children deserted by their own parents. Our government has deserted us,” a family member, Sinvula Mudabeti told New Era.
The grieving family has been hit by a second tragedy within a space of days after the mother of the three brothers collapsed and died on Tuesday evening.
The 69-year-old Nkungano Nchindo died from a suspected heart attack, while her daughter was rushed to hospital on the same day.
Both President Hage Geingob and Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana have expressed regret over the incident, while the two governments have in the meantime instituted a joint investigation into the matter.
Geingob met with the family members of the slain fishermen, assuring them of government’s support.
International relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah also expressed her disappointment with the killing and had summoned the Botswana High Commissioner to Namibia to explain his government’s position.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said both governments had agreed in 2015 already for Botswana to halt its controversial shoot-to-kill policy.
According to reports, 37 Namibians have died at the hands of law enforcement officers from the neighbouring country since independence.
“I was really under the understanding that from that meeting on 4 May 2015, things would change and we will not experience this,” she said.