FRANCISTOWN: A widely-circulating photo on various media platforms showing deceased Namibian ‘fishermen’ believed to be poachers allegedly killed by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) anti-poaching unit in the Chobe area has landed a Monarch man in trouble for sharing it.
The man only found he courted trouble on Thursday after sharing the picture in an opposition party WhatsApp group.
The photo coincides with the recent death of three men in a related incident that caused a diplomatic tiff between Gaborone and Windhoek.
Pictures circulating on social media platforms show that the Namibians have been greatly angered by the death of their countrymen and have since handed a petition to the Botswana High Commissioner to Namibia, Dr Batlang Comma Serema. Narrating his painful ordeal that led him to a night at the Central Police Station cell for the first time Isaac Keleagetse, a popular Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) political activist in Francistown, said members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested him at his residence in Monarch at around 8pm on Thursday.
“They took me to their offices at the Northern Divisional Headquarters near Central Police Station and asked me where I took the photo and why I was sharing it. I told them that I took the photo from social media and also shared it. After I shared it, I wrote the caption ‘fishermen’ beneath it. About 16 CID officers then started questioning me from around 8pm up until 12pm whereafter they decided that I should be locked up in a police cell at Central Police for further questioning the following day.
They then took my Huawei smartphone telling me that they are keeping it in police cells for further investigations. All along, they had been telling me to tell them the truth, failure to which they will
The UDC political activist added that he was only released from the police cell at around 1pm on Friday after another UDC operative and councillor for Monarch South, Tumelo Oduetse went to the Central police to ask about his whereabouts and why he was incarcerated.
Keleagetse said that former Member of Parliament for Francistown West Habaudi Hobona accompanied Oduetse, another UDC activist Barulaganye Mooketsi, his girlfriend and younger brother to the police station.
But Keleagetse said that he was fortunately released from the cells before people who went to look for him arrived.
The Monitor managed to speak to all the people Keleagetse said went to look for him. Each confirmed that they went out to look for him.Keleagetse’s girlfriend, Jane Maswabi said the whole ordeal scared her.
However, Central Police Station commander, Lebalang Maniki said he was not aware of the matter since it was not registered in his police station.
Maniki then referred The Monitor to the office of Northern Divisional Headquarters since he said that they sometimes handled cases that he was not aware of because their jurisdiction covered the entire northern part of Botswana. The Monitor then contacted the northern divisional offices where one officer, who identified himself as sub-Inspector Matsogo, gave two numbers, which were ringing for the better part of Friday afternoon without being answered.