OSHAKATI: Members of the Swapo-Party Women’s Council (SPWC) in the Oshana Region on Thursday staged a peaceful march here to express concern over escalating gender-based violence taking place in this region and the country at large.
The SPWC members, led by their regional coordinator Johanna Mweshida, marched from the Swapo-Party regional office at Kandjengedi in the Oshakati East Constituency to the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court in the Oshakati West Constituency, where they handed over their petition to Control Magistrate Anna Adriaanse.
Adriaanse promised the SPWC members that their petition will be forwarded to the office of the Prosecutor-General without delay.
The march by the SPWC members coincided with the re-appearance of Rudolf Taati Martin in the Oshakati Magistrate’s Court on Thursday morning.
In their petition, the SPWC members singled out the killing of two young women – Frieda Shikongo and Basilia Shikesho – by their boyfriend, Martin, in the region in July this year as one of the disturbing cases of gender-based violence committed against innocent women in the country.
“The notorious murder of our daughters, Frieda Shikongo and Basilia Shikesho, by suspect Rudolf Taati Martin on the 22nd and 23rd July 2012 in Oshakati East and Oshakati West constituencies respectively, has shocked everyone terribly than all other related evil activities before it,” the SPWC members said in the petition.
The SPWC requested, among others, the youth to “stop secret love relationships and secret financial and material support, and to adopt the culture of openness in this regard”.
They also want to see men accepting the end of love relationships, to start being responsible of pregnancies they cause, and to continue living peacefully with their pregnant partners afterwards and not to resort to violence.
‘We are requesting the Ministry of Safety and Security to totally crush and stop the selling and abuse of alcohol and drugs. All the rapists and murderers must be kept separately from other culprits, and to be given harsh life-long sentences,” the SPWS members demanded.
They further insisted that criminals be rehabilitated, and at the same time appealed to parents and the Church to educate children and the youth on God’s 10 commandments.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Alpha Haihambo postponed Martin’s case to 01 October this year for psychiatric observation after he (Martin) asked to be taken to a hospital for a mental check-up before the court asks him to answer to the two counts of murder he is faced with.