A symbol of shame

25 June 2019 | Columns

The remains of 22-year-old Zimbabwean Fambauone 'Talent' Black being repatriated to his home country on Saturday, on the back of a trailer, shall remain an enduring symbol of shame for Namibia.

Black, whose only sin was making a U-turn at an Operation Kalahari Desert roadblock in Greenwell Matongo, was gunned down by a soldier, who now stands alone in the dock facing the music.

However, the killing came amid an increasing clamour from ordinary citizens for the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) to be removed from the anti-crime operation, which to this day has been ignored by the powers that be.

This past Saturday, the young man's corpse suffered the indignity of being loaded on a trailer attached to a long-distance minibus.

This comes at a time when Namibia is chairing the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

It comes at a time when we should be the ones setting an example for the rest of the region. Adding to this shamefulness are the comments from some Namibians, who have chosen to highlight the supposed crimes being committed by Zimbabweans who have fled the economic woes of their country to make a living here.

There is no proof that Black was a criminal on the run.

According to his friends who spoke to the media, he was trying to make an honest living.

He had been sending money back home to his family.

His body left for the dormitory town of Chitungwiza, situated about 20 kilometres outside Harare, reportedly without a stitch of support from the Namibian government, the NDF and even the Zimbabwean embassy.

It was reported that, led by the Zanu-PF Windhoek branch and the opposition MDC Namibian chapter, the local Zimbabwean community and Namibians rallied behind the Black family and raised more than N$31 000.

Many Namibians will rightfully be angered and perturbed by this state of affairs, for we have been painted as most uncaring by the actions of our leaders. May Black's soul rest in peace. Go well, our SADC brother.