Botswana cops gun down Zimbabwean ‘tobacco smuggler’

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Sukulwenkosi Dube Plumtree Correspondent

A 40-YEAR-OLD Zimbabwean man was shot dead by Botswana law enforcement agents as he allegedly fled from a roadblock in Francistown. Qhawe Moyo from Nkedile area in Mangwe District was in the company of three friends when they were stopped at a check point and tobacco was found hidden in their luggage, prompting the group to try and escape.  He was killed on Tuesday last week and his body was still in Botswana yesterday.
His three counterparts whose names could not be ascertained are detained in Francistown.

A police source who preferred anonymity said the issue was being investigated as Botswana authorities were denying the allegations.
Chief Sangulube, whose area covers where the four men originate, said Moyo, who is his nephew, was on his way to South Africa to sell tobacco when the incident occurred.

“I received the news of my nephew’s death and from what I heard it appears that he was shot by Botswana authorities although I do not know how far true that is as the issue is still under investigation.

“Qhawe left with his counterparts and they entered Botswana through Matsilotse Border where the border authorities demanded to search them but instead of complying they fled and proceeded into Botswana,” said Chief Sangulube.

“When they reached a police roadblock in Francistown law enforcement agents demanded to search their luggage. It appears that the border authorities could have alerted them.

“They tried to flee which forced the authorities to open fire on the group and from what I gather that was when Qhawe was shot and killed. It seems that he was sustaining his family through selling tobacco in South Africa.”

The councillor of Mphoengs area Norman Lobi Tshuma identified one of the arrested men as Nicholas Dube. “I heard about this incident which involved four people from our district. One of the men who is involved is from my ward and from what I gather he is detained in Botswana.

“He was involved in the business of selling tobacco together with his peers. Selling tobacco is a common activity in our area because a number of people survive on it. Since it is an offence to carry tobacco those who deal in it opt to conceal their goods when passing through the border,” said Clr Tshuma.

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