MP calls for research on convicted GBV criminals

WINDHOEK; The Minister of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday supported the idea that research be done on criminals convicted for gender-based violence (GBV) to determine if they have similar characteristics.

Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah made the remark in the National Assembly (NA) during discussions of a motion on GBV introduced by Congress of Democrats (COD) president Ben Ulenga.

She said at one point there were suggestions made by many to research those who were convicted of such crimes, in order to find out whether they have similar characteristics, upbringing and backgrounds.

“This will enable leaders and the country to be able to identify how to prevent certain behaviour in the communities,” she suggested.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said laws cannot work in a vacuum, and there must be other supporting mechanisms which will enable legislators to implement those laws.

“At the same time, we should not just look to punish; what is important is to prevent because as the saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’,” she said.

Nandi-Ndaitwah added that it is really unfortunate that the country finds itself in a situation where some members of society find it easy to take life.

Society, she said, is also finding itself in a situation where death is no longer something which is feared.

“And this is what takes us now to ask where we have gone wrong and what we should do as a nation,” stressed the minister.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said she fully agrees with many who are calling on leaders to look into the country’s laws and see how gaps in them could be closed.

It is a necessity that the country’s laws be used to see how to curb GBV currently experienced in the country, she urged.

Also contributing to the motion, the Minister of Justice Uutoni Nujoma said Members of Parliament (MPs) should remember that parliament passed two landmark legislations.

These legislations are the Combating of Domestic Violence Act and the Combating of Rape Act.

Nujoma said the courts in the country have consistently passed severe sentences in cases of murder or rape, ranging from 30 to 60 years.

“The law is there and there are no gaps in our laws. What we have to deal with is our own people and teach them from childhood that it is important to respect each other as brothers and sisters,” he added.