Source: All Africa
Whether one likes it or not, Namibian society has become a killing field of sorts - killings perpetrated predominantly against women and children. In recent months the murder of defenseless women and children, especially girl children, has continued with unfailing regularity.
The authorities have appeared unresponsive and toothless in the face of these cowardly attacks, and the society at large rendered helpless. The vicious cycle of such murders have been repeating themselves time and again, invoking only short-lived condemnations.
Never have they shown any sign of subsiding at any point, the widespread condemnations and public outcries notwithstanding. On the contrary, such condemnations appear to have been viewed by the perpetrators as encouragement to continue with their heinous deeds.
Every time the perpetrators up their game, the response from both the public and law enforcement agencies has seemed lukewarm. In fact, the atrocious crimes have been going from bad to worse in terms of their regularity and gravity.
One is reminded of the Magdalena Stoffels case when a learner was brutally molested and thereafter slayed on her way from school. The official and public reaction to her slaying was unprecedented, with praying crusades both at the level of officialdom and the public.
Three or so years down the line, following the Stoffels' tragedy, the culprit/s remain/s free and it is doubtful whether they will ever be brought to book. Instead, the government faces at a huge bill of legal claims.
In recent weeks another tragedy struck with the killing of the Kuaseua siblings. This is not to suggest that between the murder of young Stoffels and the latest slaying of the Kuaseuas, there have not been many, many killings. In fact cold-blooded murder has become an everyday spectre in this country.
Most disturbingly, such monstrous crimes have shown no signs of receding. Nor have the law enforcement agencies seemed up to the task of reversing the trend, let alone arresting it. As a result Namibian society is literally under siege today. There are few signs that the situation will get better soon so that our society can be a safe haven, especially for women and girl children. Even the celebrated praying crusades - which have followed every tragedy - have not been effective, appealing as they do principally to the emotions. They seem to have been a desperate escape from a violent society, without necessarily allaying the fears that have engulfed our communities nor dealing with the state of siege we have been under.
Generally our communities and even our homes are not safe places in Namibia today, to the extent that one does not know where to run or hide for safety.
One cannot but be reminded of the zeal and vigour with which our law enforcement agencies wanted to pounce on advocates of Affirmative Repositioning (AR) and their perceived threat, in their hasty bid to draft members of the Namibia Defence Force (NDF) in to help the police.
Are we really trying to say that the mass killings that have been afflicting society are not as much of a threat and menace to society, thus warranting the same zeal and vigour and the flexing of the muscles of the law enforcement agencies, as we were promised was going happen against AR proponents?
One cannot but appreciate the compassion that has been shown by our leaders towards the families of the victims, from the highest political office to the lowest, and the public at large. It shows what a caring society Namibia is, but such care it seems has not ended the killings, which have been on the increase and indeed been spiraling out of control.
Looks like society at large, the government and law enforcement agencies in particular, are simply unable to find lasting solutions to the spate of killings. In the face of these killings, there is no way that the governors of the country can claim to be fully in charge. In charge of what? The killings?
As a country we have often patted ourselves on the back for the relative peace and stability that we have been enjoying since Independence. Can we, in the face of these killings, really continue to lay claim to peace and stability and even tranquility when we are reaching a state where even our homes are no longer the safe places they should be and the streets have become an arena for pitched battles between gangsters that peace-loving and law-abiding residents and citizens would not dare venture into? That kind of "peace and stability" is out of this world!