New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Kaukungwa Against Death Penalty

Oshakati — A veteran of the Namibian national liberation struggle and Swapo Party stalwart Simon Mzee Kaukungwa disagrees with a call for the reintroduction of the death penalty in Namibia.

Speaking at Oshakati last Friday during the launch of the Nationhood and National Pride Campaign by Information and Communication Technology Minister, Joel Kaapanda, Kaukungwa demanded heavy punishment instead of the death penalty for acts of murder.

Some Namibians, including a section of those who attended the launch at Oshakati, want the death penalty reintroduced in the country to serve as a preventive measure to the increasing brutal killings of women and children.

Namibia outlawed the death penalty at independence.

Instead of the death penalty, Kaukungwa suggested that murderers be given a punishment of daily lashes with a whip on the buttocks throughout the years of their prison sentence.

The 93-year-old Kaukungwa argued that Namibia, with a small population of about two million people, cannot sentence her citizens to death.

"The country will end up with less people because of the death penalty," Kaukungwa noted.

He also expressed dissatisfaction with what he termed the "luxury hostel-style of delicious meals" being accorded to prisoners by the Namibian authority.

The provision of pleasant food to prisoners, Kaukungwa said, should be done away with if prison sentences are to serve as a deterrent to would-be offenders.

According to Kaukungwa, religious education, whereby children are taught the Biblical 10 Commandments, should be reintroduced in schools, if Namibia is to have law-abiding citizens.

In his speech, Kaapanda called on traditional leaders in the country to introduce a law prohibiting children of school-going age from visiting cuca shops in villages.

The same law, Kaapanda said, must also prevent married women from staying at cuca shops until very late in the evening, while their children are alone at home.

The Nationhood and National Pride Campaign launched at Oshakati was for the regions of Kunene, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana and Oshikoto.

It aims to, among others, instill the spirit of nationhood and national pride in all Namibian citizens, consolidate peace and stability, address violence against women and children, curb alcohol and drug abuse and instill a spirit of belonging.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba launched the campaign officially last year on April 27 in Windhoek, under the theme "My Namibia, My Country, My Pride".

Nampa

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