GBV disturbs peace: Pohamba

23 Feb 2014 14:10pm
WINDHOEK, 23 FEB (NAMPA) – President Hifikepunye Pohamba has sternly warned men to refrain from actions such as gender-based violence which disturbs peace and destroys, rather than building Namibia.
“The carnage must stop, and it must stop immediately!” he stressed, adding that gender-based violence (GBV) in all its manifestations should not be tolerated in Namibia.
Pohamba made the call on Friday during a televised address to the nation on the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Television, following a special Cabinet session held earlier in the day.
“Let us join hands to make our country safer for all, including our women and girls,” he pleaded.
He said Namibians hold dear the peace and stability their country enjoys today, for it was made possible by the sacrifices of their heroes and heroines.
“Let us concentrate our energies and resourcefulness to actions that will advance the wellbeing of our people in the quest for a better and more prosperous society,” said Pohamba.
His appeal follows the escalating killing of women and girls by Namibian men.
Six women have died at the hands of their lovers in just three weeks.
The latest victim was killed on Saturday by her former lover in Windhoek. She was a 32-year-old Motswana woman, and a third-year student at the United Lutheran Theological Seminary Paulinum Campus in Windhoek's Pionierspark Extension 1 residential area.
Among the resolutions of the special Cabinet meeting is a directive to amend the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977, in order to tighten the requirements for bail in cases of gender-based violence.
An amendment of the Correctional Service Act of 2012 was also called for, in order to deny parole to persons who are accused and convicted of gender-based violence.
The Ministry of Education was also directed to ensure that the curricula of schools and other institutions of learning should include aspects of educating the youth, about the need to avoid, prevent and discourage GBV.
“It is my hope that the implementation of these immediate, medium- and long-term measures will add momentum to our efforts aimed at addressing gender-based violence in our country. Too many innocent lives have been lost,” stressed Pohamba.
He said the lives of too many women and girls have been destroyed or disrupted, adding that too much pain and suffering have been caused.
He noted that since the attainment of independence in 1990, Namibia has won admiration, both at home and abroad, as a beacon of stability, peace and security.
“Our freedom was achieved through the sacrifices of both Namibian men and women. It is, therefore, regrettable that hardly a day passes without reports of murder, rape, beatings or other forms of violence against Namibian women and girls by men.
“These sickening acts are taking place in almost all parts of the country, involving perpetrators and victims of all age groups,” he stated.
The Namibian Head of State opened the Ninth Session of the Fifth Parliament on 11 February 2014, and used that occasion to call for the cessation of all forms of violence against women and girls in the country.
Similarly, Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob has also condemned and called for an end to these ‘primitive’ acts.
These calls appear to have fallen on ‘deaf ears’, as more women and girls continue to be attacked and killed or injured in senseless and brutal ways, Pohamba indicated.
“We must remember that Article 6 of the Namibian Constitution states that the right to life shall be respected and protected,” he said.
As a result, no law in Namibia may prescribe death, as a competent sentence, and the Namibian Constitution further prohibits executions in Namibia.
Pohamba said unfortunately, some criminal men are violating this provision of the Constitution, and therefore, his government can no longer allow this situation to continue.