Balekane-Ba-Botswana Association (BABOA), has noted with deep concern recent spiralling incidents of gender based violence (GBV); murders, defilement, incest and missing persons in our country.
“It is not an understatement to point out that these types of social ills tarnish our image as a nation that has for a very long time been known as a beacon of peace and harmony worldwide,” BABOA national chairperson Lameck Mpeetsile said in a press statement issued today. Mpeetsile indicated that Balekane Ba Botswana Association (BABOA) is a registered voluntary Association that was formed in 2011and its members are men and women who were born in 1966 when Botswana attained its independence from colonial rule.
One of the objectives of BABOA is to promote peace, social and cultural unity and harmony of the nation of Botswana. “Historically”, further said Mpeetsile,“In all societies in the past, men waged wars to defend and protect their women and children against their enemies. It is disheartening to us as Balekane-Ba-Botswana to observe that our generation of men in our country has declared war on defenceless women and children.” The police as well as the media are inundated with reports and alarming statistics of gruesome forms of gender based violence and murders on daily basis that occur in each and every village, town and city which are mainly perpetrated by men. He declared worriedly: “Our men have become monsters that women and children fear. What is also disturbing are increasing reports of persons who mysteriously go missing and at times are found dead. Clearly, our nation is passing through its darkest hour since our formation.” He further noted: “We are at the crossroads. This is therefore, clear and present danger that threatens to annihilate our women and children, hence urgent intervention is of essence.”
BABOA is adamant about a need for national conversations around the phenomenon of GBV. They cannot pretend that this will just disappear on its own. They feel Batswana are a nation that needs to do serious introspection and reflection with the view to finding out where we have gone wrong. “We therefore appeal to all state and non-State agents (NGOs, government, Faith Based Organisations, the media, Dikgosi and individuals) to collectively and jointly mobilise our communities to engage in a constructive dialogue around it,” he said. BABOA has seen a need to urgently hold national men’s pitsos, workshops and seminars in each and every village, town and city to listen to men and for, “our men to have a platform to talk and to educate men and the boy child that real men do not use violence against women and children.”
They believe that education and dialogue can go a long way in addressing this mayhem. He concluded: “We strongly believe as BABOA that through proper education, there is still hope to bring up a boy child who abhors violence, conducts himself with integrity and respects the sanctity of life.”