Man-up condemns increased GBV cases

LINEO MABEKEBEKE

MASERU – The notable escalation of case of murder involving women and girls under unclear circumstances has compelled Man-up Lesotho to demand action from the Commissioner of Police, Holomo Molibeli.

The group wants Molibeli to act with speed and ensure that the killings are pursued to conclusion and the culprits apprehended and brought before the courts of law, according to a statement that was released this week by the organisation.

The organisation further demanded that their Majesties and traditional or customary leaders, together with all relevant arms of the government of Lesotho, recognises gender based violence as a cancer in our society and proceed to set up special courts to prosecute cases of gender based violence.

Man-up also wants the judiciary, as the custodians of justice, to prioritise gender based violence cases and mete out strict sentences in accordance to the Sexual Offences Act and other statutes.

“Finally, we ask that all Basotho continue to hold sacred the rights provided by our Constitution and speak out against gender-based violence whenever it occurs in our society. “We must all assume responsibility to end all forms of violence against women in Lesotho. We will come out to strongly condemn such acts whenever they arise,” the statement says.

In August alone, Mpho Mahula, the executive director of the organisation indicates in a statement that a young girl’s body was discovered strangled to death with some body parts missing. This he says demonstrates heightened cases of insecurity across the country, therefore they consider this as intentional killings against women and girls.

“We as BASOTHO MEN have noted with great concern the repetitive nature in which these killings are conducted and, despite the complaints being registered with the police immediately, there seems to be laxity among the security organs in dealing with such cases,” they added.

As an organisation that prides itself in the protection of the rights of women and girls and in the promotion of a society free of violence against women and girls, they say enough is enough.

They took note of the Women’s Month, August, evolving grave human rights violation as well as a severe health and safety concerns of women and girls in Lesotho. “It is concerning when we do not hear of the leaders taking a stand to openly talk about this high level of Sex Gender Based Violence and Femicide (SGBVF) already emerging in our country,” they add.

According to Man-up, it is horrifying and a demonstrates lack of respect to the constitutional provisions of respect to human life. Women and girls, like many other citizens, ought to be valued and not be subjected to the grievous acts that endanger or take away their right to life.

Man-Up Lesotho remains vigilant in the call for justice, not only for the families affected but also to the departed souls.

Such grievous killings meted on women and girls, they say, must not be accepted in communities. The organization further notes that as a country, everyone has a duty to preserve the life of every citizen regardless of his or her gender, race or social status.

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