Killings: What is to be done?

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The past week has been the darkest in Namibia’s recent past, following the senseless killings of two sisters – Jacqueline and Cecilia Kuaseua – in Khomasdal.

But while the nation tried in vain to atone for the crime by show of unprecedented frenzy, news of more killings came to the fore on Monday afternoon, as chronicled in this newspaper in its Tuesday’s edition.

An Okuryangava woman appeared in court on a charge of killing her boyfriend last week, while another woman was found dead in an informal settlement in Opuwo. Her lover too was found dead in the same room, after he allegedly hanged himself.

The very same day, police in Windhoek found a body of a middle-aged man in a riverbed between Katutura’s Single Quarter area and Khomasdal.

That was 48 hours after President Hage Geingo and his wife Monica visited shebeens at Single Quarters on Saturday – where they expressed discontent about the state of alcoholism in the area.

The majority of Namibians are highly concerned about the senseless killings, most of which are linked to jealous in malfunctioning intimate relationships.

But in its boiling anger the nation’s collective mind did lose its balance and capacity for self-analysis. It flagellated itself and shamed its soul.

What is more worrying is that women remain the majority of victims in this series of fatal rage, making us a nation that’s eating its own daughters.

The world is asking whether Namibia is a nation of rapists and killers of women. Only facts, not words, can answer this question.

We have become a theatre of rape and related crimes against women to the extent the female compatriots no longer feel safe in their own country.

We must admit as a nation that we have failed, over the years, to identify the root causes of this scourge and to devise possible interventions.

Alcoholism, drug abuse and gun control are but some of the areas we are failing with distinctions. With regards to alcohol, enforcement of operating hours of shebeens, especially in high-density areas, is as good as non-existent.

A stroll in Katutura would confirm that some bars open as early as 07h00 a.m and that workers can grab a ‘cold one’ before boarding a bus to work. This is not only shameful, it’s unproductive too.

The same bars close in the wee hours of the next day, way beyond the stipulations of their operating licences.
Alcohol and crime are inseparably-intertwined. Rape and killings have often been a result of binge drinking and or abuse of prohibited drugs such as cocaine.

Drug lords are the new breed in Namibia today. They operate in a multimillion dollar ‘industry’ that has no regulation or tight enforcement. Such dealers import drugs from abroad, sometimes using women as carriers of powdered sachets of dangerous drugs in return for cash benefits.

Gun control in Namibia is frail to the extent that almost every Tom, Dick and Harry owns one. The mistake made over the years is leaving the gun-control assignment solely in the hands of the police.

Gun retail outlets and other stakeholders have not played a sufficient role in ensuring that guns are acquired for good and legal intentions, as opposed to empowering the criminal-minded to carry out their dirty activities unabated.

The church, civil society and families all have to bring their part in ensuring that the so-called crimes of passion and indeed others forms of violence are brought under manageable proportions.

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