By Simon Liseli at Ngoma
FAMILY members of the Namibians who were killed by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) over the years are seeking government intervention to investigate of their deaths.
They are seeking for government to initiate talks with their Botswana counterparts in finding a solution that will see them no longer falling victims to trigger-happy BDF soldiers.
According to Ms.Priscah Simasiku, whose son, Banister Mulife Simasiku aged 21, died after he was allegedly killed by BDF soldiers in 2004, told Caprivi Vision that the governments’ reluctance to investigate the murders that occur on foreign grounds will continue to see many Namibians die under dubious manners.
A teary-eyed mother Priscah urged Botswana government to advise their soldiers to arrest and charge illegal immigrants who are found to be on the wrong-side of the law and inform their respective authority of the suspects’ detention, as an alternative of not killing them.
She narrated that her late son Banister, who is survived by one minor child, died a horrific death saying “When they brought his corpse to be buried, I didn’t believe that he was my son. His face was covered in bullet wounds. It was a painful sight”.
“Why are BDF not arresting people they find committing crime? Why are they not charging them instead of killing them? Their method of shoot to kill and then inform the relevant authorities is not the right way to solve anything.” She claimed.
Another disgruntled family of Christina Lipuo, a widow of the late Godfrey Mulongwe Kopani, who suffered the same fate at the hands of the BDF soldiers in 2004, said she was only called in to identify his corpse.
Mr.Kopani was allegedly shot dead when he was out looking for his cattle.
Priscah is now struggling with eight children following the death of her husband, who was also the breadwinner. She survives from the little money she receives from Tulionde bicycle project run by Catholic Aids Action, where she volunteered her services.
She added that the Botswana Government should take example from Namibian law enforcement officers who have never taken the law into their own hands despite the many illegal crossing of Zambian nationals into the country.
“People are being killed mercilessly. Families have lost their loved ones and are not compensated by Government.”
“Zambians are culprits of illegal crossing into Namibia, but they are never attacked the same way BDF is attacking our nationals when found on the side of the country,” Priscah stressed out.
An elderly woman, who preferred anonymity, noted that previously when the Botswana nature conservation officials patrolled the area, they would arrest those not found with valid permits, who would eventually be fined.
The elderly woman alleged that in another unreported incident, two fishermen were assaulted while fishing in the river bordering the two counties.
“But this is no longer the case since BDF took on patrolling around the game parks and surrounding areas. They are now shooting aiming to kill for only reasons known to them. Fetching water has also become dangerous.” She said.
In another incident, another man escaped harm at the hands of the trigger-happy BDF soldier, when he survived with battered breath while his two friends from Luchindo village at Ngoma, were unlucky and apparently died mysteriously.
The three men had taken a rest under a tree to smoke when they heard some gunshots sounding at close range.
“We ran off in different directions because the guns went off close to where we were sitting. I only got to learn of the death of the other two friends when I got to safety. Only God knows how I survived the attack,” said the man.