- Namibian President meets family and is not averse to sharing report
- But BDF border operations could be exposed
The joint Botswana-Namibia report on the killing of four Namibians by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) could be publicised, The Botswana Gazette has established. However,
military experts say publicising the report could lay bare operations of the BDF on border patrol in an area teeming with mega-wildlife and ravaged by poachers.
The report is believed to contain sensitive details of how the four Namibians were gunned down on 5 November last year along the Chobe River. They were Tommy (48), Martin (40) and Wamunyima Nchindo (36) and their cousin Sinvula Muyeme (44), all of whom are referred to as poachers by the Botswana government and fishermen by the Namibian
Soon after the incident, Namibian President Hage Geingob sparked a diplomatic quarrel between the two countries when he characterised the BDF as “trigger happy” in a scripted report to his cabinet.
There are fears that Namibian authorities may slip and the report may end up in the public domain. This is despite Geingob reportedly having emphasised that even though the families of the deceased have asked to see the report, it should not be made public.
This came after Geingob visited the families and made an undertaking that he would not object to their request to see it. According to Geingob’s press secretary Alfredo Hengari, the president said this during a meeting between him and the Nchindo family on Impalila Island in the Zambezi region last Sunday.
He was accompanied by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu, Chief Kisco Liswani III of MaSubia, newly appointed home affairs minister Albert Kawana, secretary to Cabinet George Simataa and environment deputy minister Heather Sibungo.
The Namibian Press quoted the Nchindo family spokesperson, Owen Sinvula, as requesting additional assistance following the deaths and Geingob responding that the government would look into the request for assistance in addition to what had been provided already.
“We request government to negotiate for compensation with the Botswana government. In the event that the matter is before court in Botswana, to allow members of the family to attend court proceedings as we bring the matter to a closure,” the Namibian press quoted Sinvula as saying.