Father seeks answers from police who shot dead his son
by Obusitse Kologwe
A distraught father in Siviya Village in the North East is reeling in anger, seeking the police to explain the brutal killing of his son, Jonathan Zenzo Sibanda, in July 2011. The deceased was shot dead near Senyawe Village after a clash with the police for allegedly smuggling cigarettes.
According to a police statement, the fatal incident happened after the deceased attempted to escape from a vehicle carrying smuggled boxes of cigarettes. The police alleged that the suspect, with others who ran away, were found in possession of boxes of smuggled cigarettes from neighbouring Zimbabwe. He was shot in the ensuing escape.
The deceased’s father, Eliot Sibanda, said in an interview last week that he will never rest until the police officers involved in the killing are brought to book as he believes they were negligent in shooting his son instead of arresting him. He yearns that one day action will be taken against the officers, and that is only when he will finally find closure.
“After the fateful incident, the police initially concealed vital information and details of what transpired. They were even reluctant to give us the post mortem report. The report was only released after a long struggle. We are not getting straight information on what happened to the other suspect who was with my son at the time despite the police having obtained his statement. We understand that the accomplice even admitted that the cigarettes were his as he had been hired to smuggle them,” said Sibanda.
He has accused the police of concealing information to cover up for their reckless handling of the issue and the killing of his son, adding that to date they claim to be still investigating the issue despite the long passage of time.
What shocks the father most is that while the case has not yet been concluded, the accomplice has been deported.
“I strongly believe the police murdered my son for reasons best known to them. The post mortem report shows that the deceased was shot at least thrice in contradiction to the police statement that he was shot only once. I suspect foul play,” he said.
Sibanda is of the firm conviction that the court of law is the one that is to be best placed to determine if the person is guilty or not.
He said that he is currently engaging his lawyers to take the police to court over the matter adding that what pains him most is that the police only told him that they will investigate the matter and have never consulted him since then.
“The Police will have to explain before the court of law why they killed my son. I knew my son was a humble businessman who dealt with the transportation of goods in between Zimbabwe and Botswana,” he said.
Sibanda said that what pains him most is that the deceased left three children who depended on him as a breadwinner.
Reached for comment on the matter, the Deputy Public Relations Officer at Botswana Police, Dipheko Motube, only said that he could not comment as he had to first determine the progress of the investigations.
“I cannot comment on all the issues raised by the father, as I need ample time to find out the progress of the investigations,” he said.