A BOTSWANA Magistrate, Taboka Mopipi, today ruled that the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) cannot be held liable for the killing of three Namibian brothers and their Zambian cousin in November last year.
The deceased fishermen, Tommy Nchindo, Wamunyima Nchindo, Martin Nchindo, and their cousin, Sinvula Munyeme, were brutally shot by BDF soldiers on 5 November last year accusing them of being poachers. Sinvula Mudabeti, the National Executive Chairperson for Namibian Lives Matter Movement, who attended the inquest proceedings, says the movement has been left with no choice but to approach the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN).
“Now that Botswana has shown that they do not have an independent judiciary, we will file heads of arguments and submit to the international community. We will seek justice outside Botswana. We will send a very strong message to Botswana. People along the Chobe River are very angry and traumatised. They feel this judgment is an insult. “We are seriously reflecting and considering whether to close down their embassy because we don’t need a country that insults us and they still pretend to love us when they actually don’t,”Mudabeti says.
Zambezi Crime Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Evans Simasiku, during the trial testified that when he arrived in Botswana to investigate, with the deceased family members, he was not allowed to take pictures of the deceased by the Botswana Police. The family members were also present to identify the slain men.
He also testified that he saw that the face of Tommy Nchindo had a scar on the face and Ernst and Martin Nchindo’s faces were swollen.
On November 13, 2020, he was in Fracistown to attend the postmortem. At the postmortem the Namibian Police was again denied an opportunity to take pictures, he explained. He also said Sinvula Munyeme had no injuries on the lower part of his body and head except injuries on the chest. Simasiku also said that the informant in the matter was indeed a Namibian who called from Namibia with a Botswana MASCOM registered number.