Oshikango — Crimes of passion are among the top offences committed in the country and they are a serious cause for concern, says police Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga.
Lieutenant-General Ndeitunga made this observation during the inauguration of a new police station at Oshikango on Monday. A total of 31 men from several regions across the country have been arrested between January and November for murdering at least 32 women after their love relations hit the rocks. Firearms, pangas, axes and knives were among a host of weapons that were used to carry out passion-related killings. Thirteen men were also arrested for attempted murder of their partners, while dozens of men committed suicide soon after they had murdered their partners.
Several children have also been orphaned by this year's string of so-called passion murders. "These acts of violence, especially against women and children are unacceptable in a democratic country such as Namibia and it must be fought tooth and nail," said Ndeitunga.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba who was the keynote speaker at the event also expressed his disappointment and concern over the killings of women and children, including baby dumping. Pohamba said such crimes should come to an end.
"What kind of society have we become? Are we a society of murderers? Stop killing women, just stop it. And for women [who dump babies] when you were doing it (sex), didn't you know that pregnancy will come? If you don't want the baby, hand it over to the police, don't dump the baby in the toilet," said Pohamba. Apart from crimes of passion and baby dumping, crimes linked to drugs and alcohol abuse also top the list of crimes committed over the past eleven months.
In total, 197 cases related to narcotics, followed by 177 cases of dealing with firearms and 148 incidents of drowning were reported. "It is really disheartening as some of these crimes could have been prevented," said Ndeitunga. Meanwhile, Eveline de Klerk reported from Walvis Bay that the Namibian Police Crime Co-ordinator in the Erongo Region, Deputy Commissioner Ottillie Kashuupulwa, has called on media houses and journalists to use caution when reporting on 'passion killings', since it appears some people are copying these crimes.
Kashuupulwa made the remarks after a second passion killing was reported on Saturday at Mondesa in Swakopmund, where a father shot the mother of his eight-month-old baby boy and then turned the gun on himself. The baby was later found sound asleep on the floor by a friend of the couple.
Kashuupulwa told New Era on Monday that the media should rather focus more on sensitizing the public rather than sensationalising the so-called passion killings.
"We should be aware that many are out there, who are being motivated by these crimes after seeing and reading about them in the newspapers. What we should understand is that these crimes scar the families of both the victims and the suspects," Kashuupulwa said.
The two victims of the latest passion killings were identified as 24-year-old, Irya Christophina Meleksedek and 32-year-old Naftala Nalitoke Ipinge. "At this stage it is still unclear what has caused the killings ... No suicide note was found as well and we are investigating a possible case of domestic violence," Kashuupulwa said. This is the second such murder reported in the Erongo Region in a week.
Last Thursday Otto Hangula (36) was arrested for allegedly murdering his girlfriend, Martha Nakale, at the Walvis Bay Municipal dumpsite. Hangula appeared on Monday morning in the Walvis Bay Magistrate's Court on a charge of murder and was denied bail.