Source: New Era
The Minister of Information, Communication and Technology (MICT), Joel Kaapanda, yesterday decried the latest spate of barbaric murders targeting Namibian women.

Kaapanda joined the growing chorus of public denunciations by political leaders, including President Hifikepunye Pohamba who denounced the recent string of so-called 'passion killings.' Kaapanda said Namibia is at war with itself and is crying out for help with the escalation in the killing of women by men in recent weeks. "As an expression of desperation, our community is calling for the President (Hifikepunye Pohamba) to declare this a state of emergency," he said, adding Namibia is a nation in crisis. According to Kaapanda there has been strong condemnation against gender-based violence against women on a daily basis coming from political, community, civil society and religious leaders across the widest possible spectrum, but the violence against women continue unabated. "It's regrettable when people lose their lives due to gender-based violence. Our young people in the prime of their productive lives are being killed," Kaapanda added saying that Namibia has lost many professionals due to the scourge of violence. He said that Mirjam Nandjato (24) was employed at the Namibian Institute of Pathology when her boyfriend beheaded her in Oshakati recently. "There's an urgent need to find a solution to passion killing," he stressed.

He said the information ministry has recently been in consultation with the ICT sector and the Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare and the Namibian police to come up with a solution to end gender-based violence.

"The solution that is being discussed is ICT-based to empower women to protect themselves," he added, saying the IT solution would have a preventative effect. Kaapanda did not reveal what type of gadget would be made available to women to prevent perpetrators from committing violent crimes, but said the tool would be introduced in due course once all consultations are finalized. Kaapanda was optimistic that once the gadget is available would-be perpetrators would be exposed immediately resulting in immediate arrests.

The Women's Action for Development (WAD) and the National Council's women's caucus have called on President Pohamba to declare a state of emergency in respect of gender-based violence after at least four women died in the most heinous circumstances in the past couple of weeks.

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