FAMILY members of the for fishermen who were fatally shot by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) for alleged suspected poaching have decided to host a peaceful demonstration on Friday, 13 November, to raise awareness on Namibian lives lost along neighbouring borders.
A family member of the four slain men, Sinvula Mudabeti, stated that once they receive the go-ahead from the Inspector-General to hold the march, demonstrators will from 11:00 peacefully march from the Zoo Park to the Embassy of Botswana in Windhoek, as well as the State House, to hand over a petition highlighting the issue of Namibian innocent lives being lost at the hands of the BDF.
Brothers Wamunyima (36), Martin (40) and Tommy Nchindo (48), as well as their cousin, Sinvula Munyeme (44), a Zambian national, were gunned down on Thursday night along the Chobe River in the Zambezi Region by the BDF.
“We want to show solidary with family members. The mother of the deseased fishermen passed away yesterday and today we received news that the sister of the late fishermen was also hospitalised after suffering from stress related health problems,” Mudabeti said.
He added that the aim of the demonstration is also to force the Namibian government to engage with its Botswana counterpart in order to resolve the issue of the heavy military presence from Botswana.
“The Namibian Defence Force has no leadership. Why is the NDF not patrolling the borders along the Chope river? Why have they not set up beacons to show where the border is on the river? It’s their job to maintain the territorial integrity of the country. In our petition we demand for a change in leadership of the Namibian Defence Force. Why should innocent civilians be killed whilse the defence ministry receives such a huge chunk of the budget?” Mudabeti questioned.
He added that the community from the Impalila island where the four fishermen resided will also receive the bodies after the autopsy is carried out on Friday, 13 November.
“When the bodies arrive at the border post, we are going to receive them in huge numbers and we will carry those coffins on our heads and tell the Botswana government that these are the last Namibian bodies that we will be receiving from them,” Mudabeti said.