Fear of BDF worries Sampofu
During his state of the region address yesterday, Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu revealed that residents living along the Chobe, Linyanti and Kwandu rivers continue to live in fear of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), something he views as a serious challenge.
This despite the situation at borders remaining calm, the governor said.
“Our residents living along the rivers are living under constant threat, harassment, fear, intimidation and killing and such activities are condemned and not acceptable,” Sampofu said.
His remarks come at a time when residents of the Zambezi Region have been calling for serious interventions to allow Namibians living along the rivers to live in harmony, rather than the threats they are exposed to.
History of violence
In May, it was reported that a group of 17 tourists in Namibia were told to “f*** off” by BDF soldiers.
The incident happened along the Chobe River where it was alleged that the BDF soldiers pointed armed military rifles at the tourists and their two boat skippers.
Sampofu also made reference to the events of 5 November 2020 when four men - brothers Tommy, Martin and Wamunyima Nchindo and their cousin Sinvula Muyeme, who is a Zambian national - were shot and killed when members of the BDF found them in the southern channel of the Chobe River.
Their mother, Alphonsina Mubu, died five days later and their sister was hospitalised for shock.
“The incident of the BDF shooting and killing the Nchindo brothers and the other 37 Namibian lives lost [to the BDF] since independence remain a serious challenge with our neighbour Botswana,” the governor said.
Sampofu said action was taken as from 31 December 2020, when Namibian Defence Force (NDF) troops were deployed at Kasika, Ngoma, Kapani, Mbilajwe and Mbambazi areas.
He explained that the troops were supposed to be deployed at areas indicated by traditional authorities, but due to the rainy season, the soldiers were unable to navigate the lands in their heavy trucks.