Kuzeeko Tjitemisa & Obrein Simasiku
The burial of three fishermen who were fatally shot by members of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) more than a week ago, and that of their mother, will take place tomorrow at Impalila Island, the family confirmed yesterday.
The remains of the three brothers and a cousin who is a Zambian national, arrived at the weekend from Kasane, Botswana, while a memorial service in honour of the five was held yesterday at Katima Mulilo.
The three brothers, Tommy (48), Martin (40) and Wamunyima Nchindo (36), and their cousin Sinvula Muyeme (44), were shot by the BDF on 5 November along the Chobe River.
The brothers’ mother Alphonsina Nkungano Mubu (69) also died suddenly from a suspected heart attack last Tuesday.
Their Zambian cousin will also be buried tomorrow in his home country.
The remains of the four fishermen were repatriated from Botswana via the Ngoma border on Saturday. Violence erupted at the border post where hundreds of people were waiting to receive the remains. Before the situation was brought under control, a video footage shared widely on social media, showed some people pelting rocks at Botswana-registered trucks.
Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga yesterday confirmed the incident and at the same time condemned it, saying the events were regrettable.
“The violent act happened while the police were busy directing traffic when these unruly individuals started throwing stones at the trucks. It is regrettable that people that are bringing services to Katima Mulilo are being attacked,” he said.
He said three trucks with Botswana registration and another from South Africa were attacked as they tried to cross the border to Botswana.
“I called my counterpart in Botswana and I was informed that the drivers had to be rushed to health centres upon arrival in Kasane to be treated for injuries. This was an unfortunate and unnecessary act. I am told the windscreen and windows of the trucks were grossly damaged in the process,” said Ndeitunga in a televised interview on NBC news.
Meanwhile, chairperson of the Zambezi Development Association, Blessing Maanda who is among those behind last Friday’s protest against the action of the BDF, appealed for calm among residents, and asked government to find closure in resolving the matter urgently.
“We don’t condone violence, therefore in the wake of the recent violent spat at Ngoma, I would like to advise those with vehicles bearing Botswana registration to steer clear in public as they might fall victims, under these unprecedented times,” said Maanda. President Hage Geingob and his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi have both called for a speedy investigation into the fatal shooting.