MAUN ÔÇô The Vice President Slumber Tsogwane has urged residents of Maun to join hands in the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) which is reported to have escalated in the village.
Speaking at an event where he also launched a march against GBV in Maun on Sunday, Tsogwane called on perpetrators to come out in the open and tell why they think they cannot put a stop at what they are doing and show cause why they cannot be severely punished. “People doing these evil works should come out and tell us why they engage in such. They need to come out to confess and seek help before it is too late because we are going to fight tooth and nail to discourage and even frustrate them in a manner that will be too much for them to handle”, said Tsogwane. The VP pointed out that the heartless killing of women and children is a cause for concern as it also denies them the chance to enjoy their freedom and even move on with their lives. He said the nation at large must put on a positive frame of mind and make it a point that men are not allowed to engage in behaviors which place the country on the spotlight for wrong reasons because generally Batswana are not a violent nation. “Even when abused, women have tendency to continue to love and forgive. This should therefore give men reason to show remorse, to protect them and behave like leaders in their families”, said Tsogwane.
Speaking on behalf of girl children 2017/2018 Miss Queen Esther teen Oreneile Ernest called on government to assist by way of discouraging some tribes within Ngamiland which still practice and see value in the power of arranged marriages, which on itself is rape since young girls are forced into sex at an early age. She stated that vulnerable girls who undergo this tradition have lost the element of self confidence altogether as they are forced by circumstances to end up depending on the same people who abuse them. These girls according to Ernest end up contracting sexually transmitted diseases and in most instances do not achieve their dreams of being independent women.
Meanwhile Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Dorcas Makgatho has hailed Maun East Member of Parliament Konstantinos Markus for coming up with own initiative of showing concern on GBV, which she said is a violation of human rights. She highlighted that the GBV issue is a very sensitive one which needs concerted efforts from all spheres for it to be contained. “As you may be aware, GBV is a nationwide problem which needs the attention of all of us. I am happy that while as government we were still looking at other alternative to better embark on this, your MP stepped in and organized this walk which we hope will help put sense in the minds of people here and elsewhere. We want this issue to be mainstreamed in wider society, and as a responsible leader Markus has been exemplary in spreading the message with assistance from yourselves and other stakeholders”, she said.
For his part Markus said he felt compelled to take action, considering the fact that most GBV cases in Maun take place in his constituency. The walk against GBV, he said, was therefore a wakeup call for perpetrators to take stock of themselves and maybe reconsider their actions. He pointed out that the committee will from time to time hold similar engagements and always be on standby to offer assistance if there is need. The event was graced by various churches and Non Governmental Organizations which fight for and advocate for the rights of vulnerable groups.