Two Zambian liquor smugglers nearly lost their lives recently in the Chobe River when their canoe collided with a Botswana police patrol boat in hot pursuit.
The smugglers who are known for snatching goods and secretly ferrying alcohol and other goods which attract hefty duty into the neighbouring Zambia fell on the radar of the police patrolling the border recently.
“It’s true such an incident took place, where two young male smugglers sustained minor injuries in the collision. The injured were however handed over to the Zambian authorities. These smugglers are commonly called
‘Manyamunyamu’ and are known for smuggling alcohol and any other goods into Zambia in an attempt to avoid paying duty on the Zambian side”, explained Assistant Commissioner Chris Mbulawa.
He said Botswana police are always patrolling along the river to ward off these notorious smugglers from the illegal business.”
“ They have now become a menace. In order for us to stop them we are collaborating with our Zambian counterparts to see how best to curb the smugglers, as they also come in and out of Botswana illegally. In the same breath may I assure the public that our officers were unhurt”, continued the Botswana Police service public relations officer.
The two suspected smugglers who were admitted at Livingstone General Hospital have been identified as Enock Sundamo, aged between 20 and 30, who suffered a deep cut on his left leg and Lovemore Muleya, 30, who was nursing a deep injury on his buttock.
Southern Province Commissioner of police in Zambia, Charity Katanga said: “The two were paddling a canoe laden with smuggled goods on the Botswana side of the Zambezi River. Botswana police who were patrolling their side of the border spotted them and gave chase. According to the information we have, the Botswana police speed boat hit the canoe and the two fell into the water. They were injured by the propeller of the speed boat’s engine.”
Smuggling is the order of the day at Kazungula border with hundreds of people openly carrying all types of merchandise, especially liquor, on foot and in dug-out canoes. joy@thevoicebw