Maun residents tell President’s commission of inquiry.
Frustrated with the rising rape statistics, residents of Maun village in the North West district have called on the government to castrate and even sentence to death rape convicts and peadophiles.
Speaking at the ongoing presidential commission of inquiry into review of the constitution at the village’s main kgotla on Wednesday this week, one of the residents, Jack Ramsden, said, “Capital punishment must be applied on men and women who are preying on young children, abusing them sexually.”
Ramsden, who was the second speaker to respond to the commission and many others who followed, kept raising the subject of rape of young children as a concern and advocating for perpetrators of such crimes to be given the harshest sentence in the land.
“Some rape children as young as two years of age. We request that these people be sentenced to death because they are destroying the future of our children,” Ramsden added.
Another speaker, one Oageng, suggested that castration of rapists and peadophiles will be a good measure to deter them from re-offending.
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“My wish is that those who rape children, their sexual urge and capacity for arousal must be taken away, the same way it is done on bulls.”
However, another speaker, Walter Monnanyana Machao, wants rapists to be stripped naked in addition to other punishments, “My belief is that people who rape children must be harshly punished and stripped naked to be humiliated and embarrassed in public.”
However, Malaki Sembumburu said peadophiles must not be tried before court but rather be taken straight to prison once investigations have proven them guilty.
“Those who rape babies as young as six months old and children 12 years and below must not go through trial, they should be taken straight to jail,” said Sembumburu.
Yet another speaker, Kgosi Gakemoeng Malaletsi, added that a new bail provision must be introduced under the law to prevent bail-outs for accused person facing rape, murder and manslaughter charges to prevent re-offence.
The commission, which is led by the country’s former Chief Justice, Maruping Dibotelo, has a task to go around the country and ascertain from Batswana their view on the constitution, especially its strengths and weaknesses, its adequacy in particular asserting Botswana’s identity, principles, aspirations and values – the promotion and protection of human rights, including equality, national unity and democracy.
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Among many issues raised, rape appeared to be at the top of human violation acts in Maun and, according to many of the residents, a few years imprisonment is no longer a good enough deterrent for this offence.