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The scourge of gender-based violence

By Helmut Angula
We condemn in the strongest term the so-called passion killing a misnomer for such callous acts. These criminal acts are committed by outright murderers, who claim to have been in love with their victims yet scenes of such crimes show no love at all. Those who carry out these acts are totally criminals, and such killings are not by accident as they appear to be well planned and go to the length of dismembering and violating dead bodies. Where is the love in that? It is said that "Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not illmannered or selfish or irritable;

love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth." Notwithstanding the over rehearsed statistical fact that apparently Namibia is 99% a Christian Nation, crimes and other inhuman behaviour among our population continue unabated. The old order including compliance with the "ten commandments" and code of conducts of a civilised society have been thrown out of the window. We are a democratic State governed by the rule of law, yet these fundamental tenets of our being is undermined daily by acts of insanity of these murderers.

We call for an immediate ban of referring to such horrifying acts of murder as passion killing. There is nothing passionate about them since we associate passion with excitement, delight or enthusiasm they should be referred to as satanic killing or something else because that is exactly what they are.

As leaders, sons, fathers, brothers, uncles and friends of women, it is disturbing to see such brutality against our women and girl child. We are concerned and possessed with terrible anger as the overwhelming majority of our nation is looking on helplessly and folding their hands. Is this the Land of the Brave we know? Can we still be proud of calling our country, Namibia, the Land of the Brave? Our country is being terrorised by callous murderers of our women folks and in the process tarnish the image of our country and drag the Namibian men population under their shameless acts. They are taking away the very same rights and dignity of our women and girl child that we fought for during the liberation struggle of this country from the colonial yoke.

Was our fight to liberate our country from all forms of oppression all in vain? How was it possible that we managed to tackle the most potent and invincible South African Defence Forces of racist Pretoria then, with inferior and at times without weapons at all? Yet we are unable tackle this small group of cowards terrorising our nation. It is a disgrace. Our heroes and heroines must be turning in their graves dismayed at our in capacity to put an end to the suffering of our women and girl child.

The blame should be turn on own cowardliness or tolerance for violence. The entire Namibian population of over 2 million and its three branches of Government has surrendered to this social evil. Yes, I say surrendered because the killing and brutal attacks of our women and girl child goes unabated almost on a daily basis. The true men of Namibia must stand up and protect the women and girl child in this country.

Yes, our Constitution is clear, no one not even the State has a right to take anyone's life yet we allow these murderers to take the lives of our women and children with impunity. How can this be explained? Is another life less important than the other?

There are many ways of killing a cat, many ways of going around resolving this social evil without overruling the Constitution. The people and the people alone can take action not to tolerate these murderers by taking prompt actions.

The State has resources to neutralise, disarm and isolate these murders from society for the rest of their lives. It can be done by way of amending the present Criminal law to make the murders of women and girl child a Crime against Humanity. Implying that Special Courts have to be established to try and deal with these cases promptly and without delay, bail, or other technical excuses of psychiatric assessment. It appears that these criminals have become very clever on how to beat the legal system. The moment they commit these heinous crimes, then they are too quick to plea insanity. Can a mental disturbed person diagnose himself? There is a need to create special infrastructures - penitentiaries far away to keep these dangerous criminals from other citizens and hold them further such as in the most isolated corners of the country with extreme hard labour.

The State must put policies and laws in place that will ensure that the families of the victims of such crimes are compensated; intensive intervention to ensure that first hand witnesses of such crimes are offered counselling; the orphans of such crimes are offered all the necessary support to enable them lead a productive lives. Communities and the families of women and girl child living in danger need to be proactive and not wait for violent relations to go any further or on the State to resolve the matter. Namibia must not be turned into a state police, on the contrary the citizens themselves must all become.

The police and other officers of peace must not be constrained, but must be given enough power and resources to deal with these murderers. The police must be in a position to restrain and render these criminals harmless to other citizens at all times. Even during their trail waiting period, they must be isolated and handled as major threat to society. The incident of taking a murderer to court and bringing him in contact with the public as if he was some sort of a celebrity moving freely should never be repeated again. Such criminals must be restrained at all times as they are a danger to society. If the above is adopted, thewould- be murderers would think twice once they know what will be waiting for them as consequences of their actions. All the measures taken so far are too lenient, too soft that they will not hinder the-wouldbe murderers.

I am therefore calling for action that such crimes should be declared Crime against Humanity and that the necessary punishment should be handed down. The productivity of the victim to society, her family and the entire population has been cut short. Let us not allow their existence on this earth count for nothing.

Let us unite and fight to protect the lives of our women and girl child so they can live in peace and enjoy the freedom of this beautiful country, Namibia.

HKAngula
SECRETARY FOR INFORMATIONAND MOBILIZATION SWAPO PARTY






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