By: Anton Mbinge
The Chief of Namibian Defence Force (CDF), Martin Pinehas, has stated that they have a complete security system in place to secure public safety and ensure Namibian citizens are not subjected to harassment. Pinehas was responding to reports that Botswana Defence Force (BDF) members are allegedly still harassing and intimidating locals in the areas of Impalila Island in the Zambezi region.
About two years ago, the BDF shot and killed three Nchindo brothers and their Zambian cousin along the Chobe river. The BDF had repeatedly alleged the fishermen were linked to a poaching syndicate.
Speaking during the NDF ministerial address this week, Pinehas said that the Ministry is still in the process of verifying the allegations that the BDF were recently wandering on Namibian waters. He added that they have mechanisms in place and established communications to deal with cases of ill-treatment between the borders.
“We are in the process of verifying these reports. We cannot just hear something and accuse the other side without proper verification. But for your own interest the Namibian Defence Force and the BDF have good relations and have established our communication between the units deployed along the common border," stated Pinehas.
The National Executive Chairperson of the Namibian Lives Matter Movement in the Zambezi region, Sinvula Mudabeti, confirmed during a telephonic interview with News on One, that the BDF are still harassing the locals and that the situation is worsening. Mudabeti stated that it has been established that the BDF were on the Namibian side and that the regional police commander and the regional governor are aware.
"I am surprised that NDF calls it an allegation when the governor of the region has told them countless times," stated Mudabeti
Sinvula stated after a visit to the NDF camp last November, he did not see improvements in the situation on the ground. He added that nothing has been done to ensure the security of the lives of locals within those areas and that the locals have lost trust in the Namibian Defence Force.