OMUTHIYA – Doreen Sioka, the minister of gender equality, poverty eradication and social welfare has condemned, in the strongest terms, the cold-blooded murder of Rejoice Shovaleka, who was stabbed to death two weeks ago by an unknown assailant in Tsumeb.
An emotional Sioka, who was addressing the small and medium enterprises (SME) community at Omuthiya, took the opportunity to call out the perpetrators of gender-based violence (GBV), labelling them as cowards. “Omavaya! Cowards of cowards! How, do you do it? To look a woman in the face and kill her? I am your sister. What did we (women) do? Women are not that strong to even fight back,” acclaimed the minister.
She is also concerned because Oshikoto tops the list of regions with the highest number of GBV cases.
Sioka expressed her concerns to the political leadership of the region by calling on the constituency and local authority councillors present to play a more active role in stamping out GBV. “Oshikoto is one of them. Not a month goes by that my office does not receive GBV cases. Councillors, please help me. Work with traditional leaders. Talk to your people. It is not only Windhoek that should fight this. Even in the rural areas, women are being killed,” she said.
Sioka called on the nation to help her office by coming up with ideas on how to curb GBV.
The minister referred to existing programmes and awareness campaigns against GBV that seem to have fallen to deaf ears.
“We are talking every day – on television and radio stations – in all local languages. Sometimes, I run out of ideas. The public, please help us,” she pleaded. Further, she advised fellow women to invest in self-defence and should equip themselves at all times. Women are advised to fight back. Referring to her days as a soldier in the liberation army, Sioka warned any man that might attempt to kill her: “Meet me on my way somewhere and I will show you!”
She exhorted the inhabitants of Oshikoto to assist the regional police to find the perpetrator who killed Rejoice Shovaleka.
“We don’t know where he is. People in the region must make sure he is apprehended. Help the police,” she concluded.