Residents in Havana informal settlement are reeling after yet another brutal rape and gruesome murder shocked the community at the weekend.
On Saturday morning, a 29-year-old man was shot and killed just moments after his younger sister was allegedly raped and robbed of a cell phone by an unknown intruder. According to the police, the suspect broke into the shack where the woman was asleep with her boyfriend.
The suspect reportedly held the boyfriend at gunpoint and raped the girlfriend who screamed in the process.
The rape victim’s brother, who lives next door, woke up to the screams and attempted to investigate. The suspect, who was fleeing from the scene then fired shots, which fatally struck the rape victim’s brother.
The boyfriend was not harmed. Last week, a 30-year-old man was also stabbed 24 times at the informal settlement, while a minor girl was reportedly raped in the presence of her mother last week. The community led by activist Elifas Nghitomoka yesterday held a peaceful protest to speak out against the spate of rape and murder incidents in the area. Police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi yesterday strongly urged the public to mobilise themselves against intruders breaking into homes.
“This is beyond our control as police officers because we cannot be everywhere, therefore, I strongly urge members of the community to protect and mobilise each other to fight these crimes,” said Shikwambi. She urged the community to at least be whistleblowers when they stumble upon intruders committing such heinous crimes.
“We must be whistleblowers. We are living in dangerous areas, we must watch out for our neighbours. However, it is also dangerous because we have a person who is killed while he was protecting his sister. Intruders are becoming more dangerous now. Therefore, I don’t even know what to say. It is really out of control because they commit crimes wearing a balaclava,” she explained. She said that there seems to be a reoccurrence of incidents with similar modus operandi in the Havana area which calls for great concern.
The ministry of gender equality also condemned the rape of the minor girl on Friday, saying it was disheartening to note that the lives of women and children are still in danger at the hands of those who are supposed to protect them. “We therefore as a ministry strongly condemn the incident since it is a violation of the fundamental human rights of the victims as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia, the Combating of Rape Act 2000, (Act No. 8 of 2000) and Child Care and Protection Act, 2015 (Act No. 3 of 2015) inter-alia,” the ministry said in a statement. According to the ministry, the Child Care and Protection Act, 2015 (Act 3 of 2015) mandates stakeholders and community members to report cases to relevant authorities if they suspect any violation of the rights of a child.
“Last but not least, the ministry is herewith appealing to the law enforcement agencies to ensure that, the suspects are brought to book to face the wrath of the law. Women and children rights are in no way not less than those of any other citizens. Therefore, they should not only feel safe within the confines of their homes but also in public spaces,” said the statement. – email@example.com