Botswana: Cabinet Team Calls for Continued Harmonious Relations

Kasane — A member of the cabinet delegation on the Botswana/Namibia shooting incident, Mr Kagiso Mmusi says a team of Namibian police is in the country to join their counterparts to investigate an incident which led to the shooting of four Namibians on November 5.

Speaking in kgotla meetings that the team addressed in Parakarungu, Satau, Kachikau, Kavimba and Mabele on November 18, Mr Mmusi, who is also the Minister of Defence and Security said the Botswana police and their Namibian counterparts were currently carrying out investigations to establish what transpired on the date of the shooting.

He assured Batswana that investigations on the matter would be conducted in a transparent and cordial environment by the two states.

Mr Mmusi said investigation processes such as identification of the deceased, postmortem and repatriation of the bodies had been conducted amicably by the law enforcement agencies of the two countries and the Namibian police were still in Botswana as investigations are on-going.

The minister called on the residents of the five villages to remain calm and ensure peace and stability despite the recent attacks by some Namibians on Botswana trucks at the Ngoma Border Post.

He requested the residents to maintain law and order and adhere to immigration procedures when the border re-opened, adding that crossing between the two countries should only be done at gazetted points of entry.

In Satau village, Kgosi Rungwe Simasiku pleaded with the Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Lemogang Kwape to engage his Namibian counterpart on how Batswana and Namibians on the border villages could live harmoniously.

Kgosi Simasiku noted that prior to the shooting, the Namibians were unfairly treating Batswana because when Botswana cattle crossed into their country and destroyed crops they demanded payment with some confiscating such cattle but when the Namibian cattle destroyed crops in Botswana no payment was done.

In Kachikau, Kgosi Mmualefhe Mmualefhe reiterated the call by Minister Mmusi that Batswana should at all times cross into the neighbouring countries through the legal points of entry.

In Kavimba, Kgosi Josephat Mwezi applauded President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi for dispatching a cabinet team to Chobe as residents were already confused by the turn of events.

Kgosi Mwezi said the meetings by the delegation were symbolic of the President's commitment to ensuring the safety of his people.

Kgosi Mwezi , however, pleaded with the delegation to request the President to find time in his busy schedule to make a national address on the matter.

He further appealed for the reprimanding of social media users who fuelled the conflict between the two nations through their posts. Kgosi Mwezi also blamed some politicians who used the incident to gain political mileage adding that the matter was hurting and should not be used to lure voters.

In response, Minister Mmusi noted that the use of borders by the citizens of the neighbouring countries would not only ensure formalisation of immigration procedures but would also assist to control the spread of COVID-19.

He said the abuse of social media platforms would be monitored by the relevant institutions.

For his part the leader of the delegation, Dr Lemogang Kwape promised the residents of the five villages that their suggestions would reach the Office of the President.

Earlier in his address he called for calm so that investigations on the matter could be fair and transparent.

Proposing a vote of thanks, assistant minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Mr Machana Shamukuni called on the Chobe residents to continue living in harmony with their Namibian neighbours.

The delegation also made a courtesy visit to officials at Ngoma Border post.

The three-member ministerial delegation was appointed by the President to keep the communities in the Chobe areas abreast of the recent developments following the shooting of four Namibian nationals near Kasane on November 5.

A press release from the Office of the President stated that the ministerial team is "to further allay apprehensions and enhance the spirit of good neighbourliness, nurtured by the excellent bilateral relations subsisting between the two countries".

Source : BOPA

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