Families seek answers on 'Lusaka massacre'

23 December 2019 | International

The remains of seven suspected criminals who were shot dead in Lusaka on 5 December have been returned to Namibia.

Relatives who went to identify the bodies in Zambia suspect that the deceased had been assaulted before they were killed. The families have implored the Namibian authorities to intervene.

Reports so far have been that the men were involved in criminal activities in Zambia and were shot dead during an exchange of fire with the police in that country.

The men have been identified as Daniel Mbishi (32), Wilson Tetela (39), Haitembu Elifas (40), Elifas Ndeshikeya (29), David Mweuxwange (39), Samuel Kambonde (42), Patrick Waandja (34).

The Namibian ministry of international relations says its high commission in Lusaka assisted the families in identifying the bodies.

After post-mortems were conducted on Friday, the Zambian police escorted the Namibians from Lusaka to the Sesheke border post.

The convoy arrived at Ondangwa on Saturday evening.

According to the relatives, Namibia's acting high commissioner to Zambia, Bernadette Nakwenye Shooka, was helpful in making sure that the process was sped up.

They claimed that the Zambian police refused to take them to the scene where the shooting is said to have happened.

“With the assistance of Shooka, we identified the remains of our family members, who according to us suffered grievous body harm. We requested the Zambian police to give us items that were found with these people or for them to take us to the accident scene, but they refused,” said a relative who did not want to be named.

“We would like our government to get involved in this matter. There are also reports saying that these people were arrested on 5 December and died on 6 December.”

A statement issued by the acting executive director in the ministry of international relations and cooperation, Rebecca Iyambo, says investigations into the shooting continue.

She said the Namibian police were in contact with their Zambian counterparts on the matter.

“The ministry, on behalf of the government of the Republic of Namibia, wishes to extend its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family during this difficult time of bereavement.

“The ministry further wishes to reiterate its call to Namibian citizens to always notify the nearest Namibian embassy or consulate when travelling abroad,” Iyambo said.


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