‘We want them to pay’ – Nchindo family

While Namibian Sun reported last month that the family was still contemplating their next course of action, according to family spokesperson George Nchindo, a decision was taken to pursue legal action last weekend.

05 January 2021 | Local News

Kenya Kambowe







RUNDU

The family of the three men killed by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) last say once they acquire the joint investigation report over the incident, they will use it to sue that government.

The men - brothers Tommy, Martin and Wamunyima Nchindo - were shot and killed on 5 November alongside their cousin Sinvula Muyeme, a Zambian national, when members of the BDF found them in the southern channel of the Chobe River.

The Nchindo men’s mother, Alphonsina Mubu, died five days later, while their sister was hospitalised for shock.

Last month, Namibian Sun reported that the family was still contemplating their next course of action, but according to family spokesperson George Nchindo, a decision was taken by the family last weekend to pursue legal action.

Nchindo said once they have access to the joint investigation report - which the two governments are currently studying - they will sue the Botswana government for damages.

He said despite not knowing the content of the report, the family is confident that the slain fishermen were innocent and said the report will only guide them on how to go about suing that government.

‘We want them to pay’

“We are busy consulting with the legal people to see how it’s done internationally,” Nchindo said.

“From the family point of view, we want to sue the Botswana government but now what is holding us back is the investigation report. We cannot sue them without knowing what the findings are. Those findings are very important. We want them to pay because we are struggling now,” he said.

He said the family will engage various stakeholders - including the Namibian government - to assist them in their quest, but added that they will continue with or without the aid of government.

“The government might not assist us that far but from a family point of view, that [legal] is what we are planning,” he said.

Call for calm

Meanwhile, Botswana’s president Mokgweetsi Masisi and Namibian head of state Hage Geingob issued a joint statement regarding the matter, which they described as “sensitive”, on 30 December.

Amid pressure to release the report and Motswana business people at Katima Mulilo being stopped from running their shops, the leaders urged residents to remain calm.

“The two heads of state wish to urge citizens and residents of Botswana and the Namibia to remain calm and patient, and to maintain their historical ties founded on their common culture and mutual respect,” the statement read.

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