Mother of slain men dies, sister hospitalised

12 November 2020 | International

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



The family of a group of men who were shot and killed by members of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) last week say they are finding the going particularly tough after the slain three bothers' mother died, allegedly from shock, on Tuesday evening.

After taking a walk, Alphonsina Mubu collapsed in a field, media reported.

Meanwhile, one of the deceased men's sister has been admitted to a health facility because of the developments, and is said to be physically weak.

Family spokesperson George Nchindo said the family was finding it difficult to deal with the matter.

“We are in shock. It is becoming a difficult situation to handle,” he said.

Reflecting on his sister's health condition, Nchindo said while she was weak, she was slowly showing signs of improvement.





“She was weak last night [Tuesday]. We rushed her to the clinic this morning [Wednesday]. She is still weak but is in a better condition now,” he said.



Repatriation and burial

Preparations are underway for a post-mortem on the quartet to be conducted, after which their bodies will be repatriated back to Namibia.

High-ranking government officials had informed the family that a local team would be dispatched to Francistown, Botswana, where the exercise would be carried out, including a pathologist.

“It is still a process in terms of the repatriation of the bodies. The Botswana government has [however] confirmed that the post-mortem will just be a one-day exercise.

“There is a possibility of receiving the bodies on Friday,” Nchindo said.

Should the bodies be back in Namibia tomorrow, he said it was possible that the men could be buried with their mother.

“We would like to bury them together,” Nchindo said. He was, however, mindful that the incident had attracted widespread attention, something he said could delay the burials.



Poachers

The BDF has maintained that the four men, who have been identified as Tommy Nchindo, Martin Nchindo, Wamunyima Nchindo and Zambian national Sinvula Munyeme - who is a cousin to the Nchindo brothers - are poachers.

Botswana has a zero-tolerance, shoot-to-kill policy regarding poaching.

Its High Commissioner to Namibia, Batlang Serema, did not want to respond when approached for comments, saying the matter is now under investigation in Namibia and Botswana.



Condemned

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has condemned the BDF's actions.

“Authorities must launch an independent and impartial investigation into the killings and ensure that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice. No one deserves to be killed for being found fishing, where they are clearly looking for livelihood. “Namibian and Botswana authorities must start holding those who kill people in the said river accountable,” its director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena, told Namibian Sun.

Over 30 people have been killed in recent years by the BDF as a consequence of controversial policy.

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