Body of hippo attack victim still missing

05 Mar 2015 08:00am
KATIMA MULILO, 05 MAR (NAMPA) – The Namibian Police in the Zambezi Region have called off the search for a Zambian immigrant who disappeared in the Linyanti Swamps following a hippo attack some two weeks ago.
This was confirmed to Nampa on Tuesday by Sergeant Andune Marcelinu, who is investigating the matter in which Mushe Mupika, age unknown, disappeared in the deep water during a fishing trip with three other Zambian nationals.
Marcelinu explained that the four fishermen had been paddling two canoes - two in each - containing fish, when they encountered the vicious hippo.
The canoe in which Mupika was rowing was split in two, causing the deceased to be flung out.
He disappeared into the water soon afterwards, while his fellow fishermen managed to evade danger and swim to safety.
Marcelinu said a search party, including some community members from the Mbilanjwe village, was deployed but could not trace the body.
The swamp is deep and shallow at different parts.
“We called off the search based on two reasons - that it is difficult to search for the body of the deceased with a big boat, and more dangerous to search by foot.
It should also be noted that preliminary investigations are hinting that if the deceased’s body is not found in the coming days, it will be concluded that it has been consumed by crocodiles,” he said.
The police officer added that Mupika’s next of kin in Zambia have been informed of the situation and have since visited the camp and village where the deceased was living, and also collected some of his belongings.
“The deceased’s relatives were recently in the country to enquire about what transpired and to assist police with any information they would need for the investigations. They also wanted to help search for Mupika’s body but could not go far as they had to do so in a canoe, which in itself also exposed them to danger,” said Marcelinu.
He added that police established that the four fishermen, all illegal immigrants, were employed by locals to cast nets in the swamp. They do not posses fishing permits and passports or any other identification documents.