By: Andrew Kathindi
A resident of Kasika in the Zambezi region, Cassius Mwala, says he is living in fear after community members started alleging that he is the spy working for Botswana.
According to media reports, during the inquest into the killing of the Nchindo brothers and their cousin in Botswana, Zambezi crimes investigations coordinator Evans Simasiku claimed that a Namibian
tipped off the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) on the movement of the Nchindo brothers and their cousin on 5 November in 2020.
He further alleged that he was recruited to spy on their behalf.
Mwala, who was one of the witnesses during the inquest in Kasane, Botswana, said that following his return to Namibia, he awoke to a flurry of social media messages claiming he was the said spy.
“When I switched my data on, I found people stating that I am the one who is assumed to be the spy. I went to the regional commander’s office with my uncle to show all those messages on social media, WhatsApp, Facebook.
“Some numbers were even from South Africa, stating that I’m the spy. They called me names “I’m the sell-out, coward.” They said I’m the one who informed the BDF about the movement (of the brothers),” he told The Villager.
He said that it was a case of mistaken identity and he has suffered as a result.
Mwala, who is not employed but makes his living as a farmer and a fisherman, says that he has been unable to go fishing as a result of the fear.
“People are assuming something that you did not do yourself. I suffered this situation while the spy is just there, playing his tune. My uncle told me, If I move around town or wherever, the people might plan to kill me saying that I’m the perpetrator.
“Even in town, I could be ambushed, from wherever, and I could be dying for something I don’t know about.”
Mwala, who is also a cousin of the slain brothers, says he got the messages on Facebook and on the Namibia Lives Matter WhatsApp group, previously the Zambezi Lives Matter.
The movement was formed following the killing of the Nchindo brothers and their cousin in 2020.
Mwala was one of the last people to see the Nchindo brothers alive near Sedudu Island on the night of the incident.
He previously stated that he and a colleague heard gunshots that night, after which he then called his brothers Tommy and Martin but they did not answer their phone.
He was the first to report the shooting at Impalila police station.
In his testimony during the inquest, he mentioned that the Namibian police had taken no statements from community members on the day.
In his sworn testimony in possession by The Villager, Mwala said, “It became a surprise and I am now disturbed by these allegations. I am now scared to go fishing, transporting passengers with a boat and looking after my cattle.”
“I am no longer living freely at my village. I have much fear by the way looking into this matter, anything can happen to me. I am requesting police investigation into this matter.”
Zambezi regional commander Marius Katamila said that the matter was being investigated but was before Simasiku’s officer.
“Cassius Mwala reported the same issue to my office. Some people of the community are saying that he’s the so-called spy for Botswana. I cannot confirm the telephone numbers of the people who made those allegations, but I asked him to report the matter to my office.
“We are going to try and run a trace on those numbers so that we can see who those people are. He gave us a statement. That matter needed to be investigated. I am not the investigating officer.”
He referred further comments to the regional crime investigations coordinator.
“He is aware of the matter; his office is handling it. As for the matter that is before court, it’s sub judicate, and if Botswana have been allegations of a spy, it’s with the Botswana authorities to confirm or deny if they have such a spy.”
Simasiku, however told The Villager that he was not aware of the matter.
According to Mwala’s sworn statement to the police, one of the messages on Facebook by Facebook user Simasiku Clifford stated, “Mwala is the one who phoned BDF.”
Another message read, “Read the statements between lines, how did he know that the Nchindo brothers went for fishing? He knew the direction in which the brothers took, he was the first person to call the guy who was left at the camp, he was the first person to start calling people about the Nchindo brothers. Sell-out crowd.”