Batswana have been asked to be in their best model behaviour and stop provoking Namibians across social media platforms as riots in the neighbouring country intensify.
There have been disturbing videos of Namibian mobs destroying Botswana registered vehicles circulating across social media platforms. The Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Lemogang Kwape made the call in an interview.
He pleaded with Batswana to display the peace they are well-known for and stop provoking Namibians.
The disputes follow the recent killing of four Namibian men by the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) along Chobe River, who were believed to be part of a network responsible for cross-border organised poaching.
The incident occurred around 11pm near the tourist town of Kasane at Sedudu area. The quartet of Tommy, Martin and Wamunyiwa Nchindo, who were siblings, and their cousin Sinvula Munyeme, left Namibians furious over their deaths, promising to retaliate over their killings.
Days after the Namibians promised to retaliate and sort out any Motswana visiting Namibia, a video was circulating across social media platforms in which Botswana registered vehicles were pelted with rocks.
“We have registered Namibian riots against Batswana and we have seen videos showing them damaging Botswana registered trucks that were transporting goods to Namibia. The matter is being addressed by the two Presidents, but I am calling for calm amongst Batswana to allow the two Presidents to handle the matter,” Kwape pleaded.
Kwape further told The Monitor that investigations on the matter would be carried out to establish what transpired and the way forward in a joint move by the two Heads of State. He went on to plead with Batswana to be cautious at all times and to avoid using any words that could be provoking to Namibians, especially that emotions are still running high.
After the quartet’s death, the Nchindo’s mother was reported dead due to heart attack allegedly brought on by the grief of losing her three sons at the hands of the BDF. It was reported that the family alleged that the four men were not armed when the BDF killed them.
Then, the Director of Protocol and Public Affairs, Colonel Tebo Dikole had said a network responsible for cross-border organised poaching was shot dead in the Sedudu area (southern channel of the Chobe River) on November 5, 2020 at around 11pm.
“The matter has been handed over to relevant investigating agencies. As previously stated, there is an alarming surge of organised poaching for rhinoceros and elephants, especially in the western part of the country (Okavango Delta and in the Chobe National Park),” he said in a media statement.
In his State of the Nation Address last Monday, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said poaching remained one of the greatest challenges in the sustainable management of the country’s wildlife species.
“At least 63 rhinos have been killed since 2019. As part of the interventions to combat poaching, rhinos in the Okavango Delta have been dehorned,” he said.
He added the national anti-poaching strategy was being reviewed to strengthen measures against poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking. It is expected the review would be completed by March 2021.