First Lady Neo Masisi has challenged the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security to ensure that a chunk of their budget is reserved for fighting gender-based violence (GBV).
The Ministry got the second largest share of P8.56 billion in the recently delivered budget speech.
Masisi said this on Valentine’s Day at the Molepolole Bus Rank where the Botswana Police Service hosted Pitso ya Borre campaign against GBV. The campaign was held under the theme ‘Ending Gender-Based Violence Starts With Me’.
“I thank the country leadership starting with the President for standing up against GBV and all those who came here. I hope you will continue and advocate that GBV should be allocated part of the budget ministers Kagiso Mmusi and Kabo Morwaeng, following the budget speech. We hope you advocate for the cause to be allocated funds. I thank Botswana Police for this great initiative as it will go a long way,” Masisi said.
The First Lady challenged families to unite and speak with one voice against GBV without defending perpetrators and attacking victims.
She said GBV has a negative impact on development of the country as it affects health, education and productivity of victims, children and perpetrators. “The theme is relevant as it encourages Batswana to show interest and take part in ending
“It is gross abuse of human rights that can lead to injuries and deaths. I hate GBV with passion as it belittles our culture as Batswana. We are known for peace and love while GBV destroys people and families.”
Police Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe said they were concerned by the rising level of violence and ruthlessness demonstrated in commissioning of crimes such as murder, threat-to-kill, rape and defilement. He said they launched the campaigns particularly targeting men, as they are mostly the perpetrators.
Makgophe shared that 316 murder cases were recorded in 2018, while 320 cases were recorded in 2019. At least 697 cases of threat-to-kill were recorded in 2018 against 678 in 2019.
He also said 2,064 cases of rape were recorded in 2018 against 2,265 recorded in 2019 while 769 cases of defilement were recorded in 2018 against 1,208 recorded in 2019.
Makgophe further said as the police they have since adopted a policy that discourages withdrawal of GBV cases by victims.