Slain fisherman shot five times

A relative of the slain Nchindo brothers, who was in Botswana for the autopsies, painted a graphic picture of how the merciless killings were carried out.

18 November 2020 | Crime

KENYA KAMBOWE







IMPALILA ISLAND

Five bullets were retrieved from the body of one of the four fishermen gunned down by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) along the Chobe River, while others were each shot twice, a relative privy to the autopsies conducted said yesterday.

Most of the shots were aimed at the heart, Pasco Sibuko, who was part of the team that repatriated the bodies from Botswana, said at the funeral yesterday, leaving mourners in tears.

Brothers Tommy, Martin and Wamunyima Nchindo were shot by BDF on 5 November, while their mother, Alphonsina Mubu, died from shock five days later. The Nchindo brothers’ cousin, Sinvula Muyeme, who is a Zambian national, was also shot and killed in the incident.

Sibuko recalled the events which unfolded between 9 and 15 November when they went to Botswana with police to repatriate the remains of the four slain fishermen.

Shot, heavily assaulted

With Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba in attendance, five bullets were retrieved from Martin’s body, while Wamunyima, who appeared to have been heavily assaulted as his face was unrecognisable, was shot twice, Sibuko said.

One bullet hit Wamunyima in the chest cavity next to the heart and the other on his right side, breaking his back.

“Martin had five bullets in him and you can verify it with the state pathologist,” Sibuko testified.

He said Tommy’s body did not show signs of assault, and the x-ray report showed that two bullets struck him - one went through his chest cavity and the other broke his rib.

Muyeme was struck by two bullets, both of which went through the lower part of his chest cavity close to the heart, Sibuko told fellow mourners.

Cheap coffins trick

Meanwhile, while the team was in Francistown, they were showed quality coffins the Botswana government allegedly promised to transport the remains back to Namibia in, but to their surprise at the Ngoma border post on Saturday, the remains came in coffins regarded as the cheapest one can find in that country, Sibuko said.

“They wanted to transport the remains in metal coffins, which we did not approve of, and they then went to show us coffins of good quality, which we approved.

“On Saturday when we went to receive the bodies at the Ngoma border post, it was not the same coffins. It appears those are the cheapest coffins in that entire country,” he said.

Hundreds of mourners pay respects

Emotions ran high over the past few days until the burial yesterday afternoon at Kamabozu village on the Impalila Island in the Zambezi Region.

Hundreds of mourners went to pay their last respects to the slain fishermen and their mother, who were highly regarded in the community.

Many of the mourners wore black shirts that read ‘They were just fishermen’ and ‘Stop the killing’.

On Monday during the memorial service, Mukwa Nchindo Sisamu delivered a speech remembering her brothers and mother, saying much responsibility has now been placed on her.

“My mother was an angel. It will be difficult to heal,” she said.

“Losing a brother is one of the saddest things in my life. My brothers’ departure was unexpected for everyone. They were strong and hardworking people.”

The fishermen were buried in a mass grave next to their mother, and next to the grave of their father, Godwin Nchindo Mubu, who died in 1997.

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