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Cabinet approves measures to curb SGBV – Kuugongelwa-Amadhila

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the Cabinet has approved measures to curb cases of gender-based violence.

On Thursday last week, youth who were protesting against the rise in cases of gender-based violence handed over a petition to the justice minister Yvonne Dausab.

Some of the demands were that the government should establish a sex offenders register, establish sexual and GBV offences courts, review sentencing laws for sex offenders and expedite current murder and sexual offences.

Addressing the National Assembly Tuesday, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the Government has already commenced the research on the establishment of the Register.

“The ongoing work in this regard include considering the modalities for implementation of the registry within the context of the Law.

“This process will be pursued with expediency.  Currently, the registry is provided for under the Domestic Violence Act in respect of sex offenders in cases involving victims below the age of 18 years,” she said.

The issue of establishing the sexual and GBV offences courts, she said, has been agreed upon and the existing court infrastructures will be used in this regard.

She further said where space is a constraint within the sector, arrangements will be made to use other available infrastructures.

On reviewing of sentencing laws for sex offenders, the PM said the current law provides for sentences for convicted SGBV offenders of up to 37 and a half years, which is equal to 2/3 of a life sentence, while a convicted person must serve 25 years before eligible for parole.

“We in the Executive shall continue to work to ensure capacity for efficient and effective investigations to support effective holding to account of SGBV perpetrators by the Courts,” she said.

About speeding up of current murder and sexual offences, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said measures being taken include:

▪ compiling a database of all active cases on the court rolls;

▪ undertaking a joint investigation into why investigations are not finalized in pending cases;

▪ prioritising cases according to the age of victims, age of the case, and complexity of investigations a

▪ contacting the victim/family of victims in each pending case to update them on the status of the case; and

▪ providing psycho-social support to victims and witnesses and prepare them for trial.


Wonder Guchu

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