Namibia: Existence of Joint Investigation On Nchindo Killings Questioned

THE Namibian Lives Matter Movement (NLMM) believes the Namibian and Botswana governments never conducted a joint investigation into the deaths of the Nchindo brothers and their Zambian cousin on 5 November last year.

The late Tommy, Martin, and Wamunyima Nchindo, and their cousin Sinvula Muyeme were shot and killed by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) along the Chobe River.

The movement’s national executive secretary, Nadia Mushabati-Lizazi, says based on the testimonies of investigators and the doctor during the just-ended inquest at Kasane, it is clear there was no joint investigation.

“… it does not exist. The information we got from the investigating team that attended the inquest is enough for us to stand firm in our belief there was never a joint investigation,” Mushabati-Lizazi says.

The movement has been demanding to see the investigation report since November 2020.

On 12 November 2020, the president in a statement said he charged the ministers of international relations and cooperation, safety and security, including the defence force, to ensure that the investigation into the murder of the men is carried out in the most transparent manner.

The Nchindo family during a meeting at State House also requested to see the content of the report.

During his visit to Impalila Island in April, Geingob informed the Nchindo family the investigation into the killings was complete and the government would consider the Nchindo family’s request to view its contents.

Mushabati-Lizazi says the investigation is a “hoax” as the Zambezi regional crime investigations coordinator Evans Simasiku, detective warrant officer Patrick Mafwila, as well as Dr Bitomo Amiss, who observed the men’s autopsies, were never part thereof.

During their testimony in the Kasane Magistrate’s Court in November this year, Simasiku and Mafwila told the court they were not involved in the investigation of the scene or the autopsies, or anything related to the men’s deaths.

They arrived at the scene days after the incident took place, they said.

Mafwila told the court the scene of the incident was already demarcated upon his arrival on 19 November 2020.

He also told the court the Namibian Police were not allowed to take any pictures or footage of the scene.

Amiss told the court he saw the autopsy report of his Botswana counterpart, ‘Dr Mabaka’, in court for the first time.

This despite many attempts to have the report sent to him to compare notes, he said in court.

Mushabati-Lizazi says this proves the joint report does not exist.

“At this moment we feel there has never been a joint report. We will not sit still and allow these injustices to take place. The discussion on the way forward regarding the just-ended inquest and the so-called joint investigation report will be held in the due course,” he says.

The movement is also questioning why a state organisation that deals with human rights issues is quiet on the matter.

“Why are they silent and idling on these issues? What happened to the slogan that an injury to one is an injury to all? Why should it be the responsibility of the NLMM to demand that the joint report be released?” Mushabati-Lizazi says.

Questions sent to the president’s press secretary, Alfredo Hengari, were not responded to by the time of going to print.

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