Violence concerns Pohamba

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WINDHOEK – President Hifikepunye Pohamba says men who commit callous and heinous acts, such as murder against women and children and other vulnerable sections of society deserve no mercy or leniency.

The Head of State made these remarks during the opening of the 9th Session of the 5th Parliament on Tuesday afternoon. “What turns our men into such monsters? What makes them commit such inhumane acts against fellow human beings?” asked the president. Pohamba said he is saddened to see that not a single day goes by without reports of brutal acts of violence and killings being perpetrated against women and children, mostly by men. He urged parents to teach their children the values of self-respect and that violence is not acceptable. “I call upon parents and guardians to teach the youth, from a young age, the values of self-respect and respect for others. We must teach them to be law-abiding citizens with empathy and love for themselves and their fellow human beings,” appealed Pohamba. He also wants the full wrath of the law to be brought down with all its force on all those who show disdain and disregard for other human beings. Namibian society needs to carry out deep introspection and reflection in order to get to the root causes of such evil and cruel deeds, the president said.

“The most recent tragic loss of life of a young woman, Mirjam Nandjato at the age of 24, and other women who lost their lives at the hands of men, should serve as a clarion call to our nation that urgent action is needed to put an end to these despicable acts of cruelty,” he said. He called on churches, community-based organizations, community leaders, education authorities, traditional leaders and parents to deliberate and take concerted actions to bring an end to the brutal slaying of women and children in the country. Approached for comment following the opening of parliament, the Minister of Minister of Justice, Utoni Nujoma, said while the present public outcry is justified, calls for the reintroduction of the death penalty are not the solution to the endemic violence against women and children in Namibia, and added that it has been tried in other countries without success.

“For me the death penalty is not the solution. It does not help to put laws on the table if the mindset of our people does not change. We have the Domestic Violence Act, which I feel is effective,” said Nujoma. With regard to murder suspects being granted bail, the justice minister said emphatically that suspects are innocent until proven guilty. “Bail is a fundamental right. Therefore anyone is eligible to get bail provided that they did not plead guilty and that they will not abscond,” he said.



By Mathias Haufiku