WINDHOEK, 5 NOV – The Popular Democratic Movement Women’s League (PDMWL) expressed concern with regard to sentences being given to rape convicts in the country, labeling them as “too compassionate considering the grievous damage rape does to victims and society at large.”
In a statement issued by secretary general Loide Iipinge today, the PDMWL called for the country’s legal system to start looking at rape as a serious crime that deserves the harshest of sentences among other crimes.
“This we say, considering the seriousness of the damage it does to the victims, which in most cases is a lifetime ordeal that they have to survive with, while the perpetrators walk away with just mere fines,” read the statement.
Toward the end of October alone, a man mutilated the private parts of a minor before raping her; an 11 year old boy was sodomised; an infant was raped, although the alleged suspect committed suicide; a former hostel caretaker, after entering not guilty pleas to 32 charges of rape and 27 alternative charges of committing sexual acts involving 10 boys younger than 16 years, saw his trial continue; while a 40 year old woman was also raped and murderd by a 29 year old man
The women’s league is of the opinion that the “unperturbed sentences are encouraging perpetrators to continuously engage in this hideous act, with full knowledge that they will not face any heavy punishment for doing so.”
Calls were also made to the Namibian society, the Ministry of Gender and Equality, the society at large and all stakeholders to rigorously engage in awareness programmes and campaigns, to educate would-be victims of elements to look out for to avoid being raped.
The statement also commended Nampol.
“We would also want to commend the Namibian Police Forces for their unwavering investigations and quick apprehension of perpetrators. We would want to urge them to continue to do so while we advocate for stiffer penalties for offenders.”
In addition, Iipinge gave cautionary advice to parents who had left it to relatives to take care of their young.
“The recent cases of young girls having been raped by adult relatives left to take care of them is disturbing to say the least, and should be a warning to all parents and guardians to take more care of their young ones in future.” – firstname.lastname@example.org