Following claims by the Botswana Defence Force that the four fishermen killed along the Chobe River were armed with weapons, the Namibian police yesterday dispatched divers to assist in the search for the alleged firearms.
This was confirmed by police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga who at the same time confirmed the safe arrival of the team of three detectives to that country led by Deputy Commissioner Sydney Philander to help in the joint investigation.
Officials from Botswana purported that the apparent weapons somehow ended up in the Chobe River where the ill-fated incident occurred.
“So, we have today dispatched a team of divers to Botswana to go and help search the apparent weapons. What I have told my team is to first focus their investigation on the apparent weapons,” Ndeitunga told New Era yesterday.
Namibia and Botswana have agreed to a joint investigation to shed light on the fatal shooting by the BDF of three Namibian fishermen and their cousin from Zambia.
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 along the Chobe River.
The brothers’ mother Alphonsina Nkungano Mubu (69) also died suddenly from a suspected heart attack last week.
They were buried at Impalila Island on Tuesday while their Zambian cousin was buried in Zambia.
The family and witnesses insisted the four were not poachers.
The shooting incident has led to a diplomatic tension between the two countries, with Namibian authorities last week summoning the Botswana High Commissioner to Namibia Batlag Serema.
Namibians also held emotional protest marches in Windhoek, Katima Mulilo and Rundu to denounce Botswana’s controversial ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy, which according to reports, has claimed 37 Namibian lives since independence.
Both President Hage Geingob and his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi have appealed for calm as well as speedy investigation into the matter.
Geingob this week said those responsible for the fatal shooting should be brought to justice, adding the killing of innocent citizens won’t be tolerated.