Family of Namibian Fishermen Wants Alleged BDF Spy Charged with Espionage

  • Says alleged BDF spy aided the killing of three Nchindo brothers and their Zambian cousin 
  • The spy reportedly tipped off the BDF on suspicious movements of the brothers along Chobe river 
  • Family says the BDF spy is a known Botswana tour guide


The family of three Nchindo brothers of Namibia and their Zambian cousin who were shot dead by an anti-poaching unit of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) in November 2020 is calling on the Namibian government to have an alleged spy who purportedly tipped Botswana authorities about suspicious poaching activity in the Chobe River charged with espionage, The Botswana Gazette has established.

Tommy, Martin and Wamuniyama Nchindo and their Zambian cousin Sinvula Munyeme were shot dead by the BDF anti-poaching unit in November 2020 along Chobe River on suspicion that they were poachers.

Zambezi Crimes Investigations Coordinator Evans Simasiku told an inquest in Kasane that absolved the BDF of any wrongdoing last year that the spy tipped off the BDF about movement of the men whom Namibia has said were fishers.

Adding new impetus to the issue, The Namibian newspaper last week quoted another Nchindo brother named George as saying the BDF spy should be arrested and charged with espionage.

Without identifying the man, George said the alleged spy was known to his brothers and used to fish with his brothers before they were shot and killed. He added that the spy is currently working on the Chobe River as a Botswana tour guide and commutes from Impalila Island to Kasane on a daily basis.

Serious issue
“It is tempting seeing him every day because we can do something at any time as he is partly to blame for my brothers’ deaths,” The Namibian quoted him as saying. “It is a serious issue but our government is not doing any justice as he is continuing to spy for the Botswana Government.”

The living Nchindo brothers lamented that the Impalila community in Namibia is now forced to coexist not only with neighbouring soldiers on a daily basis but also with the alleged spy.

Though the identity of the BDF alleged spy was never revealed during the inquest, the Namibians are pointing an accusing finger to Nchindo brothers’ cousin named Cassius Mwala who lives in Kasika in the Zambezi region.

Earlier this month, Mwala told The Villager newspaper of Namibia that he is living in fear after the community accused him of being the alleged BDF spy. “It became as a surprise and I am now disturbed by these allegations,” he told the newspaper.

“I am now scared to go fishing, transporting passengers with a boat and looking after my cattle. I am no longer living freely at my village. I have much fear (because) anything can happen to me. I am requesting police investigations into this matter.”
During the inquest, the BDF did not reveal the identity of the alleged spy but insisted that it received an anonymous tip-off from a Namibian that there was suspicion of poaching.