The Namibian Defense Force (NDF) has been deployed to protect the border between Namibia and Botswana in the wrong places.
This is according to Zambezi Governor Lawrence Sampovo.
The National Defense Force was deployed to the border in December last year after an incident in which the Botswana Defense Force killed three brothers and their cousin in Chobe River on November 5.
On Tuesday, in his address to the state of the region, the governor said that the forces are currently stationed in the regions of Kasika, Nujoma, Kabani, Mbalagoi and Mbabazi.
He added, “They were supposed to spread in areas [indicated] by the traditional authorities, but because of the wetlands during the rainy season, which could not be traversed by their heavy trucks, they went on to spread to areas not specified by the traditional chiefs.”
He said that the people living along the Chobe, Linanti and Kuandu rivers “live under constant threat, harassment, fear, intimidation and killing, and these activities are condemned and unacceptable.”
Sampovo said 37 Namibians have lost their lives since independence along the border.
“This remains a serious challenge with our neighbor Botswana,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Ntombo Nandi Ndayitwa is expected to host a series of meetings with Botswana’s Minister of International Affairs, Limojang Kwabe, in Kasane and Katima Mulilo from tomorrow until Saturday.
The two will also hold consultative meetings with representatives of the traditional authorities of the Zambezi region, the governor and regional advisors.
The meetings are said to be speaking to communities in the border areas where last year’s deadly shootings occurred.
The joint investigation report on the accident is expected to be high on the agenda.
This report has not yet been made public.
President Haji Geingob, when he visited the family of shooting victims, the Nchindo brothers promised, in Imbalila in April, that the government would consider granting the family’s request to view the contents of the report.
Family spokesman Owen Simvola confirmed that the family is still waiting for State House to provide them with a date when they can view the report.
“Covid has made it difficult for us to meet. But we hope that will happen very soon,” Symphola said.
The Namibian Life Movement, which has been at the forefront of calling for the 2018 border treaty to be rescinded, has not been invited to the meetings.
The treaty is a matter of dispute between the Namibian government and the people of the Zambezi region.
The national leader of the movement, Symphula Mudabiti, accused the government of siding with Botswana against the Namibians.
He called on the government to be open and transparent and to recognize the importance of public opinion in discussions affecting livelihoods.
“We recognize that participatory democracy is not just a vote, but more than that, it is about ensuring that we as citizens have the opportunity to participate directly, or participate in decisions that affect our lives. In this case, hostilities across borders affect all of us,” says Madabaty. .
The movement plans to host demonstrations at the Ngoma border point, as well as at the Zambezi Regional Council office, where a petition will be delivered.
“We are asking all those who lost their relatives at the hands of the Bahrain Defense Force to come forward and register their names. We want to give the names to the visiting minister on Saturday,” Madabati says.