Okalongo Constituency Councillor Laurentius Iipinge has proposed that government introduce dating contracts to curb intimate partner killings that are rife in the country
Iipinge made the remarks at an elders’ meeting in Omusati Region recently.
Although Namibia only issues marriage certificates to those lawfully married, Iipinge said there is a need to amend the law to fight the root causes of so-called ‘passion killings.
Iipinge believes dating contracts would enable parents to know who their children are involved with and reduce the number of secret relationships, that oftentimes involves the exchange of money.
He said such contracts should be subjected to yearly renewal to free partners who are no longer willing to continue with the relationships.
Iipinge said with the proposed contracts, partners who feel robbed or simply want to claim back what they have given to their partners during their time together can do so through their families.
“It is better to have agreements known to the families, rather than hearing that your daughter was killed because they misused their boyfriend’s resources or vice versa,” Iipinge said.
According to the 2011 Population and Housing Census conducted by the Namibia Statistic Agency, 99 553 people, aged 15 and above, were involved in consensual unions. Statistics indicate that more than half of those who are cohabitating live in urban areas.
Windhoek had the highest number of cohabitating couples at 21 609 at the time of the census, while Zambezi had the lowest number (2 340). The Erongo had 11 039, Kavango East 11 730 and Otjozondjupa 10 262. Other regions recorded figures below 6 000.
Iipinge said his constituency has put together a committee to handle dating conflicts for people in the area, but the committee is not yet functional, pending government approval.
“This committee will mediate between families where one party feels robbed by their partner – in order to reclaim what is theirs when the relationship turns sour. We will first put our proposal to government before we commence,” he said.