A -39 -year old man, Mr. Lister Nyambe Lubanda is seeking compensations from the state after he was allegedly tortured by game rangers on August 4, 2011.
Mr. Nyambe who is the resident of Kwalala village in the Kabbe Area, eastern Caprivi claims that he was unlawfully assaulted and detained by game rangers .
He told Caprivi Vision that he was suspected for killing an elephant which was found at Lyangwe village in the Bukalo Area at about 40 Kilometers away the town of Katima Mulilo.
He added that he was seated in his house at around 14hrs in that fateful day of August 4,2011 when ten (10) game rangers from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Caprivi region together with the game guards of the Salambala Conservancy entered his house in a breakthrough without a warrant of search when they took his 308 riffle and his fire arm license and they surrounded and handcuffed him then started beating and kicking him.
“ I was hand cuffed and the game rangers kicked and beaten me while I was hand cuffed” quashed Mr. Nyambe.
Article 8 ( 2) (b) of the Namibian constitution forbids that ‘ No person shall be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’ .
He said , was forced to enter in the van and taken to the scene where the elephant was killed, where he was hardly beaten up and was taken back to his village . At around 1 AM the following day during night when he was asleep , game guards from Salambala Conservancy went to him with intention to arrest him which he refused to come out from his house after his brother resisted that he was not the person who killed the elephant , then game rangers from the ministry were called in from Katima Mulilo at the same time they were at his village and they also started beating his young brother for quarrelling with the game guards and they then took Mr. Nyambe into the van with force while handcuffed , they drove the GRN vehicle to their offices in BOMA in the same night where he was then beaten up “ they hammered me with some sharp nails on my hands while I was handcuffed” he explained.
He was kept up to the morning when he was handed to the Namibian Police Katima Mulilo cell 4 where he appeared before the magistrate who granted him a bail of N$ 2,500.
“ Why did they not arrest me in a good and peaceful manner ? that’s why I want them to compensate me for the tortures I have sustained under them ” he said.
After paying his bail of N$2500.00 he was admitted for two weeks by Katima Mulilo State Hospital where he was severely suffering from the internal bleeding .
According to the affidavits of his medical practitioner Dr. Simbi of the Katima Mulilo State Hospital, confirmed that his two kidneys where injured in the process of tortures.
“About the head injuries, when they were beating and kicking me on my head, I became hysterically and unconscious. Hence, I was always confusing and fleeting seeing things that was not exist. That is why I have indicated on my legal aid form that I have suffered a slightly brain damage at the time” he explained.
Concerned Mr. Nyambe still challenging the state that “ I just want to be compensated, because I was not found guilty in the competent court of law, they have just beaten an innocent person( me) what crime did I commit? And I end up being both in the police holding cell and in hospital bed because of them.”
In terms of Article 18 and Article 25(2) read together with Article 95 (h) of the Namibian constitution that make provisions for any aggrieved person to have the right to seek justice.
In the letter dated October 5, 2011, Mr. Jatiel Mudamburi the Control Prosecutor of Katima Mulilo District Court indicated that “The matter was withdrawn at court on 4th October 2011 due to the non availability or non submission of the docket by investigating officer”.His case number is A330/11 and Katima Mulilo CR is 50/08/11.
After seeking for the violation of his fundamental freedoms, Mr. Nyambe’s application for the legal aid was approved by the Ministry of Justice in Windhoek and his legal Aid Lawyer is Mr. Krugar Vavireen who was not available for comment at the time of going for press to explain on the latest development of his client.
However , Mr.Leo Mnakapa, NamRights Para Legal Officer in Caprivi Region who assisted in forwarding the application for legal aid to the relevant authorities after Mr. Nyambe’s case was withdrawn confirmed Mr. Nyambe’s incidence as something which was done unconstitutional and he urged the state justice system to take its cause to the perpetrators of his torture.
“ The state must not always delay and postpone cases of such nature because it affects the vulnerable and the victims while the perpetrators go away without facing the law, they are taking advantage by impunity ( a person committing a crime knows that nothing will happen to him or her) ” he said .
Mr. Mnakapa , also alleged that most letters which are referred by his office to the legal aid department in Windhoek are being hidden for reasons which are not known, “ how can a letter for legal aid should disappear.? ” he cautioned that several posts (letters) of his clients used to disappear on the way before reaching its destinations.
Other sources in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism who opted to remain anonymous told this paper that they was no such incidence to happen since ever that is similar to Mr.Nyambe’s case in Caprivi region .