- Says Botswana denies the policy while in actual fact it exists for the BDF
- Accuses BDF of cooking evidence against dead men
By hiring a spy inside Namibia alone, the Botswana Defence Force showed that it was on a unpleasant mission, the Chairman of Namibian Lives Matter Movement (NLMM), Sinvula Mudabeti, has said.
In an interview with The Botswana Gazette, Mudabeti accused the Botswana Government of legalising its controversial shoot-to-kill policy under what the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) calls standard operating procedures.
He is convinced that the Botswana Government has legalised atrocities against innocent and unarmed Namibian civilians in what amounts to its shoot-to-kill policy that it denies it has, he added.
A BDF patrol unit shot and killed Namibian Wamunyima brothers Nchindo, Martin and Tommy and their Zambian cousin Sinvula Munyeme purportedly believing they were poachers last year. This subsequently led to an inquest that just ended.
In Mudabeti’s view, evidence submitted by Botswana at the inquest has shown that the country’s government has devised a policy of saying one thing in public and doing the opposite in court about its shoot-to-kill policy in order to defend its soldiers irrespective of objective evidence presented.
While the Botswana government denies existence of this shoot-to-kill policy, the BDF uses it under the fancy term of standard operating procedures, he asserted.
“The BPS (Botswana police) seems not to have powers to investigate BDF acts of assault, war, and wanton shootings when they encounter Namibian fishermen,” he said.
“We have never seen a country whose defence, police, public prosecution authorities appear to work independently of each other but are in actual fact one team that legalises atrocities against innocent and unarmed Namibians civilians. It was clear that the evidence of the BDF was cooked in order to incriminate the deceased.”
Mudabeti said the hiring of a spy inside Namibia by the BDF alone was an indication that Botswana was on a mission. Further, evidence led by the BDF cannot stand because it said the people were shot from behind but autopsy reports say the opposite.
He queried: “How do you explain the fact that the BPS never took fingerprints on the elephant tusks? How do you explain the fact that the divers from Botswana and Namibia never found the alleged weapons used by the fishermen even with metal detectors?”
Botswana and Namibia have been at odds over allegations of poaching and Botswana’s shoot-to-kill policy for some time. So far BDF’s anti-poaching unit has killed 37 Namibians on suspicion that they were poachers.