Police commander concerned about increase in GBV in Zambezi

The Namibian Police Force’s commander for Zambezi, Commissioner Marius Katamila has expressed concern about the increase in gender-based violence (GBV) in his region.

In a recent interview with Nampa Katamila, who has only been in office for two months, said GBV in the Zambezi Region has been increasing at an alarming rate.

He said while he could not provide statics, his concern is based on consultations with senior police officers in the region and by perusing past records since taking office.

“We are getting a lot of cases of assaults, men beating their partners and rape. Rape is becoming a problem and sometimes the incidents sadly involve children,” he said.

Katamila said four rapes, including that of a minor girl, were reported in the Zambezi Region over the weekend of 20 November.

He said the incident involving a 14-year-old girl occurred Sunday morning around 04h00 when the girl was walking home. She was intercepted by an unknown man who raped her and fled the scene.

Another rape incident occurred Monday night.

“The woman was at a shebeen and went to relieve herself in the bush but someone followed her and forced himself on to her. The suspect is unknown at this point,” he said, adding that while GBV is a problem countrywide, it was always low in the Zambezi, but of late cases are being reported on almost a daily basis.

“GBV is now one of the biggest problems here that I have never anticipated to experience in Zambezi. I, honestly, never thought that GBV would be this high in this region. One can’t but conclude that something is definitely wrong. It is painful to watch especially as a father who has girls. You hear these things happening and you worry about the safety of your children,” said Katamila.

He was reluctant to speculate about why GBV is on the increase in Zambezi, but said many of the cases can be attributed to alcohol and drug use.

“You for instance don’t expect such incidents on Mondays but it could be because some people were paid over the weekend and so they were under the influence of alcohol. But we also have young people excessively using cannabis. It is one of the problems here.”

Katamila took over as regional commander in October following the retirement of Commissioner Karl Theron.

Source: Namibia Press Agency