WINDHOEK - A member of Namibia Defence Force (NDF) who allegedly shot a 32-year-old man on Thursday in Katutura is expected to appear in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court today.
In a press statement, police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi said the soldier, who was part of the second phase of Operation Kalahari Desert, has been arrested.
Kalahari Desert, the anti-crime joint operation between the country’s safety and security forces, was scheduled to end yesterday.
Benisius Kalola was shot with an AK-47 in the back at Smarties location – a couple of metres from his family home at Single Quarters in Katutura.
This happened after a hot pursuit of Kalola by armed NDF members. Kalola succumbed to his injuries at Katutura State Hospital hours after the shooting.
Shikwambi stated that Kalola was shot while members of the operation where on search of narcotics where a substantial amount of cannabis/dagga was recovered and three suspects were arrested.
Shikwambi said what sparked the shooting was unknown as of Friday, as police investigations were still in the early stage.
She said the loss of life is regretted by joint operation commanders and that the due process of the law will follow its course.
“Contrary to what was published in the media that the deceased has no criminal inclination, preliminary investigations has revealed that the deceased had two outstanding criminal cases, robbery with aggravating circumstances and armed robbery,” stated Shikwambi.
Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani visited the bereaved family on Friday and donated N$1000 to them. Venaani called upon government, especially the defence ministry, to provide a coffin for the deceased’s burial.
“I will not tolerate the same situation where a Zimbabwean mother had to take her son who was shot innocently back to Zimbabwe in a trailer. How despicable can a country be and President Hage Geingob apologies to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa when he came here. Why didn’t he apologise to the family that lost a child?” stated Venaani, who said if shooting was necessary, it should have targeted the legs of the getaway suspect.
“I am very disappointed, NDF is using its force wrongly. When you are protecting people, you must not kill them. There is a difference between protecting and killing,” remarked Venaani.
The deceased’s sister, Helena Kalola, repeated the family’s position that they are unable to bury their brother as they are struggling to make ends meet by only selling Kapana.
“Our mother is in the north and unemployed. We are struggling by selling Kapana. We were not ready for this. What did he do? The minister of defence must do something.
She added that Kalola had an altercation with NDF members before and they assaulted him.
Ministry of Defence spokesperson Petrus Shilumbu did not answer when asked if they will cover costs toward Kalola’s burial. Shilumbu referred this reporter to the Namibian police statement that made no mention of the burial.