Monday, 20 July 2020

ZIMBA SHOT AND KILLED BY SOLDIERS IN BOTSWANA


Zimbabwe has engaged the Botswana government to bring closure to the fatal shooting of a Beitbridge man by that country’s soldiers on Friday morning.

Gift Nyoni, from Number 12 area in Shashe, west of the border town, was reportedly shot dead by soldiers on patrol who came across him and two others at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers (Shalimpo) which divides Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The deceased was coming from South Africa and walking on a foot path in the company of Trymore Ndlovu and Justice Dube, all in their early 20s, when tragedy struck at around 8am.

His two colleagues, Ndlovu and Dube, have been charged for trespassing and border jumping and are still detained at Bubonong Police station.

It is reported that Nyoni’s body was taken to a mortuary in the same area (Bubonong) pending a postmortem.

Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Botswana, Mr Henry Mukonoweshuro said yesterday that they had since engaged the host through its Ministry of International Affairs and Coopetition and that of police to get closure on the shooting.

“We have since contacted the host Government over the issue taking into cognisance the good relations between the two governments and the need to protect and preserve human lives,” he said.

“The issue is now being investigated by both the military and the police and we are looking forward to get feedback from them.

“We have also requested that they should conduct a postmortem on the deceased’s remains to ascertain the cause of death. 

“According to initial reports from the Botswana Defence Forces, they are alleging that they shot at the three when they tried to flee and evade arrest at an undesignated crossing point at Shalimpo.”

The Ambassador said they were looking forward to the finalisation of the matter.

He said though Ndlovu and Dube had been charged they were yet to appear in a court of law.

Mr Mukonoweshuro said the issue of the shooting of stray livestock from Botswana was still being discussed through the Bi-National Commission (BNC).

“We have heard about cases where stray livestock is shot here as a way of controlling the spread of foot-and-mouth,” said the Ambassador.

“As a government we are aware of the importance of livestock as a source of livelihood to many people, hence we are working to get a final solution to this problem through the Bi-National Commission. 

“In the meantime, we proposed that they drive stray animals back to Zimbabwe and hold them at a designated place while efforts are made through official channels to have an amicable solution.”

Beitbridge Rural District Council, chairperson, Luka Ndou, who is also the councillor for Shashe area (Ward 8) said yesterday that the community was devastated by the shooting of Nyoni.

He said recently, the Tswanas shot and killed 106 cattle and 63 donkeys belonging to local villagers.

“This is a double loss for us as a community and people are calling for justice to prevail. We have lost one person, 106 cattle and 63 donkeys to shootings by the military in a short space of time.

“We have taken up the issue with our national police,” said a livid Cllr Ndou. Chronicle

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