WINDHOEK, Feb 24–– The Political Bureau of Namibia’s ruling Swapo party has resolved to amend the Criminal Procedure Act of 1977 in order to tighten the requirements for bail in cases of gender-based violence.

The government convened a special Cabinet meeting on Friday, when top Government leaders also called for the amendment of the Correctional Service Act of 2012, in order to deny parole to people who are accused and convicted of gender-based violence (GBV).

The special Cabinet meeting was called following the spate of killings of women in the country. Cabinet members deliberated on specific interventions which must be introduced by the government to address the alarming situation of GBV in the country.

On Saturday, a sixth woman lost her life in just three weeks at the hands of her lover in Windhoek. The latest victim was a 32-year-old third-year student at the United Lutheran Theological Seminary Paulinum campus in Windhoek’s Pionierspark Extension 1 residential area.

A statement issued after the special Cabinet session said the Cabinet directed the Ministry of Justice to introduce legislation aimed at imposing longer prison sentences on persons convicted and sentenced for GBV.

Currently, the sentence for murder in domestic violence cases is between 30 and 35 years.

During the meeting, the Ministry of Education was directed to ensure that the curricula of schools and other institutions of learning should include aspects of educating the youth about the need to avoid, prevent and discourage GBV.

“A campaign against gender-based violence must be initiated involving government leaders, Members of Parliament, religious leaders, traditional leaders, community leaders, civic organisations, Regional Councils and Local Authority Councils, and the business community,” the Cabinet resolved.

It further decided that a suitable date and time be identified, during which all persons in Namibia will be required to observe a minute of silence in honour of all women and girls who are the victims of GBV, and that all bells in the country should ring concurrently.

Source: NAMPA