Bodies of Namibian fishermen shot by Botswana soldiers riddled with bullets
Rustenburg – One of the four Namibian fishermen gunned down by Botswana soldiers was hit by five bullets.
According to Namibian media reports on Wednesday, at least 11 bullets were removed from the bodies of Tommy, Martin and Wamunyima Nchindo and their cousin, Sinvula Munyeme, who were shot dead by Botswana soldiers two weeks ago along the southern channel of the Chobe River while fishing.
Botswana insisted they were part of a cross-border poaching syndicate. The country adopted a shoot-to-kill policy in 2013 as a measure to curb poaching. Under the policy, poachers are shot dead on the spot if they are caught.
According to a Namibian Broadcasting Corporation report, Botswana soldiers have killed 37 Namibians along Namibia's northern border in the past 20 years.
The three brothers were buried at Impalila Island on Tuesday along with their 69-year-old mother, Alphonsina Mubu, who died of a heart attack days after her sons were killed. Their cousin was reportedly to be buried in Zambia later this week.
Their uncle, Pasco Sibuku, told daily newspaper The Namibian that Martin was shot five times.
Wamunyima had two shot wounds, one close to the heart and in the lower back, which broke his back. Tommy and Sinvula were each shot twice close to the heart and in the lower back.
Botswana has sent a high-level ministerial team to allay fears and to appeal for calm at villages along the border between Botswana and Namibia.
This followed a battle brewing between Namibians and Botswana on social media platforms following the incident, which prompted Botswana Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Lemogang Kwape to urge Botswana residents not to provoke Namibians on social media.
Radio station Eagle FM reported that the Namibian government is yet to meet most of the demands made by protesters against the Botswana Defence Force.
Windhoek has so far met two of the protesters’ demands: a joint investigation by the Namibian and Botswana governments and the retrieval of the bodies of the fishermen.
African News Agency (ANA)