Saturday, July 24, 2021

Family of suspect killed by Police threaten legal action

The family of Zenzo Sibanda, a suspect who was shot dead by the Police last week in Senyawe Village in the North East District, says they will not rest until they launch a legal action against the Botswana Police officers who caused the death of their son.

Speaking in a vengeful mood last week, they told the Sunday Standard in an interview that the Police acted brutally and unprofessionally as they could have arrested Sibanda without killing him.
“We think the Police deliberately wanted to shoot him dead, but anyway we will have to launch legal action and the responsible officers should answer for a case of murder,” an elderly member of the family said.

A press release from the Botswana Police passed to the Sunday Standard states that the suspect was shot and killed by the Botswana Police office team in an antiÔÇôtobacco smuggling operation during the past weekend near the Zimbabwe border.

It is alleged that the suspect with others who ran away were found in possession of boxes of smuggled cigarettes from neighbouring Zimbabwe and the deceased attempted to escape in a vehicle where he was shot on the spot.

Although the family does not deny that the deceased could have been involved in criminal activities, they feel that the Police were brutal and killed him in cold blood.

“In order to arrest him, if at all he was trying to escape, they should have injured him, but killing him was way extreme,” said Tobokani Musolina, a cousin to the deceased.

The sister to the deceased, who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity, also told the Sunday Standard that the killing of Sibanda could have been malicious, with a motive behind it.
She revealed that she had long heard the deceased once saying that the Police were hunting for him and wanted him dead.

“Although Zenzo was suspected to be a cigarette dealer, we feel that the Police acted in bad conduct to take his life because they were other means of arresting him besides killing him,” she stressed.

However, upon confirmation on the conduct of the operation by the Police officers leading to Sibanda’s killing, the Senior Superintendent and Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Botswana Police, Dipheko Motube, told the Sunday Standard in a telephone interview that, indeed, the suspect was killed by the Police but only added that investigations are still on-going to determine how he was killed.

“At this moment, I cannot divulge whether the Police acted in good or bad conduct in the killing of the suspect as investigations are still on-going,” he stressed.

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