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Murder, rape: National crises

Despite being known as a nation of peace and tolerance, Botswana continues to experience a series of love-related murders dubbed passion killings and high rape cases. The country is faced with a big social problem of murder as dozens of women continue to lose their lives at the hands of their lovers, Mmegi Staff PINI BOTHOKO observes

People no longer value the sanctity of human life as they choose to kill whenever it suits them. Everyone has the right to live his or her life freely. But that seems not to be the case for women in Botswana. They live in deepest fear of rapists and lovers causing harm to them female species.

For instances three women are killed every week in Botswana and six women are raped daily as demonstrated by the Botswana Police Service (BPS) statistics. As an illustration of the scope of the problem, police so far have recorded over 300 murder cases.

Addressing Public Account Committee (PAC) the Police Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe said over 600 rape cases are recorded yearly or six rape cases daily. He raised concern over violent crimes such as rape and murder that are mostly perpetrated by men with the major victims being women.

“We do not know the cause of these violent crimes. Gare itse gore sechaba se tsenwe ke eng, I think it is our responsibility as the society to reflect, look at how we grown our children from family level. It cannot be a police issue because some of the perpetrators start committing offences from early age and end up committing more serious offences,” Makgophe said.

He pleaded to parents to own up to their children’s behaviour from young age to curb the scourge. However, Makgophe did not dispute that poverty does contribute to crime just like the people who are wealthy get involve in crime.

“Murder and rape is a societal problem, it looks like the society is angry and we have not yet established the reason behind. However, when doing investigations there are

some perpetrators who disclose to have been pushed into crime by their level of poverty with nothing to survive with,” he said.

PAC member and the Member of Parliament for Bobonong, Taolo Lucas pleaded with the Police Commissioner to consider a scientific research on the issues to curb the escalating rape and murder cases.

“I have seen that you have recorded more than 300 murder cases and I believe strongly that a scientific research on rape and murder could be helpful. Statistics shows that three murder cases are recorded at least weekly and six women are raped daily. I think this is time for you to consider carrying out a scientific research on why murder is becoming a common phenomenon, are we an angry society? BPS could consider partnering with University of Botswana (UB) to carry out the research. Who knows it could be helpful because we are faced with crisis that needs immediate attention,” he said.

The legislator further raised a concern over 200 rape cases that are recorded yearly asking the police commissioner if they have a way of informing themselves on why the nation is having so many cases.

“Six women are raped in a day, it is a shock. Are you investigating these not as cases but doing a scientific research on the matter to come to the bottom of the cause. Look at some types of times and poverty, do they have any relationship,” he said.

Makgophe admitted that murder and rape are a societal problem and pleaded with the legislators to help and pass the message to their communities and plead with parents to look into the upbringing of their children.


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