- Shot and injured suspect currently receiving medical attention in Namibia
- Other suspects fled into Botswana
A 40-year old Motswana male is in receiving medical attention in neighbouring Namibia after being shot for suspected poaching in Bwabwata National Park, Namibia’s environment and tourism minister, Pohamba Shifeta, disclosed on Monday.
Minister Shifeta was quoted in press conference streamed live saying two suspected poachers were ambushed in the park on Tuesday last week following discovery of the carcass and biltong of a giraffe. He added that one of the two suspects was shot in the leg and injured as they fled the scene.
“While one of the suspects fled into Botswana, the one who was shot was apprehended and is currently receiving medical attention at Rundu State Hospital,” Shifeta was quoted as saying, adding that investigations to find the suspect who fled into Botswana are ongoing.
The suspect arrested suspect will be charged for contravening Namibia’s Nature Observation Ordinance No. 4 of 1975, hunting protected species and illegal entry into the park.
Minister Shifeta said the incident came just a week after 11 rhinos were poached inside Etosha National Park where two of five suspects were eventually arrested.
The incident happens against the background of the two countries tensions relating to killing of suspects in poaching incidents. Namibia is on record accusing Botswana of being trigger happy and killing their people, most of whom they refer to as fishermen.
Responding to Botswana Gazette, the Namibian Lives Matter Movement chairman, Sinvula Mudabeti said they commend members of the Namibian Police anti-poaching unit on the successful arrest of the Botswana citizen.
“In Namibia, we have a Police Force that values human life above wildlife. Our police acted with the utmost professionalism in using force necessary only to arrest and not kill. Unlike Botswana that has no professional ethics in its Police Service and Army, ours does not shoot and kill but arrests and allows the law to take its course,” he said.
He continued: “Botswana should learn that they have been covering up for their own people who are hardcore criminals and the truth is starting to come out.
Namibia has lost Rhinos and Elephants to poaching but has not used such events as a license to shoot poachers at will. We have always maintained that Botswana citizens are also engaged in cross border crime in Namibia, such as poaching and drug dealing but we have not killed any of them.”
Mudabeti concluded by saying one Botswana poacher escaped and could have been gunned down but said their security detail exercised restrain.
The Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation Dr Lemogang Kwape could not be reached at the time of going to press.