Zim embassy reaches out

The Zimbabwean embassy in Windhoek would not comment on the investigation in the shooting of their countryman but, is helping with the repatriation of the man's remains.

19 June 2019 | Local News

The Embassy of Zimbabwe in Namibia has expressed sadness following the shooting of Zimbabwean national, 22-year-old Talent Fambauone Black, and are working with his family and the Namibian government to ensure his remains are returned home.

In a brief statement to Namibian Sun, Jacqueline Molai, an embassy spokesperson speaking on behalf of the ambassador Rofina Chikava said the fatal shooting of Black during Operation Kalahari Desert, “is a very unfortunate and a sad event for all people in Namibia including the Zimbabwe community in Namibia, embassy staff and indeed myself”.

The ambassador underlined that “loss of life will never be an easy event for anyone, and hence the embassy is treating this event with the utmost consideration for the bereaved family during this difficult period”.

The embassy confirmed they had reached out to Black's family and “preparations in conjunction with the government of Namibia are underway to repatriate the body of the deceased to Zimbabwe”.

The embassy declined to comment further on the incident, citing the fact that investigations are still under way but confirmed that once the investigations are concluded, and the embassy has shared the information with Black's family, and they approve, the embassy can comment further on the matter in the media.

Meanwhile, a petition with the dual demand of stopping Operation Kalahari Desert and the costly renovations of Swapo headquarters has attracted more than 7 500 signatures, with a steep increase of signatures since Black's shooting last week.

The online petition, titled 'Stop Operation Kalahari Desert and Swapo HQ Renovation' condemns the heavy-handed and deadly “unleashing the military on civilians”, and calls on President Hage Geingob to “stop this madness”.

In a statement released shortly after the shooting incident became public, the United People's Movement (UPM) warned that soldiers “are not trained in law enforcement and therefore cause problems all over the country”.

Moreover, the UPM cautioned that soldiers are not trained to “understand the concept of minimum force”, which they said was made clear by the multiple public reports of heavy-handedness.

The UPM, among many other groups and individuals, called on the withdrawal of NDF soldiers from Operation Kalahari Desert.

The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement, through its People's Litigation Centre has given the authorities five days to remove soldiers from the ongoing crime-prevention operation or it will turn to the courts to force government to do so. Kadhila Amoomo, counsel for the centre, sent a letter last week Friday to that effect.



JANA-MARI SMITH

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