29 Jun 2015 17:00pm
KATIMA MULILO, 29 JUN (NAMPA) The Botswana Defence Force (BDF) is detaining two Namibians who face possible charges of illegal entry and occupation of land along the Linyanti River.
The two Namibians whose names have not yet been revealed were arrested by the BDF during raids on their alleged illegal fishing camps on the Botswana side of the river on Saturday.
The Namibian Police Force (NamPol)s Zambezi Regional Deputy Commissioner of Operations Robert Sanjahi told Nampa on Monday the two Namibians, whose families have been notified, were arrested along with 10 Zambian nationals, all of whom apparently did not have documents authorising them to be in that country.
Sanjahi said the Zambian nationals were all allegedly employed as fishermen by Namibians who possess fishing permits.
Information relayed by the Botswana police authorities to us indicates that two Namibians are in their custody along with 10 Zambian nationals.
We are now organising a team of police officers to go and see these locals who are arrested and get feedback on what will happen next, he said.
He explained that the detained suspects were all found to be on the Botswana side of the river, where they had set up temporary reed structures on islands illegally.
A Special Field Force (SFF) team sent to determine the location of these camps found that the structures were all located on Botswana territory.
These fishermen had unknowingly put up their structures, thinking they are doing so on Namibian territory.
With the naked eye one cannot determine the boundaries between the two countries and the river has many channels, hence the soldiers had to use a global positioning system (GPS) during their investigations in the matter, said Sanjahi.
On Saturday morning four temporary fishing camps housing Namibians were raided by the BDF, who were patrolling the area to rid it of illegal fishing activities.
During the raid clothes, identification cards, passports, fishing permits, food, beds, cooking utensils and large blocks of salt for fish were burned inside the structures of the fishermen and women near the Mawunga village in the Linyanti Constituency.
At the time of the attack on the camps, the SFF soldiers could not approach the BDF as they were not equipped with boats, enough human power and no GPS which would help to determine the boundary lines between the two countries.
Mulonga Muluti, one of the victims who narrated the days events to this news agency, said when the campers saw two BDF helicopters approaching, some ran and hid in the thick river reeds, while others swam to safety on the Namibian shore.
Another victim, Precious Muyoba, said she was left with only the clothes she was wearing, and that her husband, Eustace Kasale, was arrested by the BDF and taken to the Kachikau Police Station in Botswana.