Crime rise holds NA captive

Crime rise holds NA captive

UNEMPLOYMENT, poverty and even capitalism were seen as the root causes of increased crime in the country as Members of Parliament debated the recent increase of violent crime for over two hours yesterday.

There was rare unity across all political parties as they supported the motion. Jurie Viljoen of the Monitor Action Group (MAG) tabled a motion asking the House to debate the “sudden increase in brutal killings” following the murder of a commercial farmer and a South African recently, which received wide media coverage in South Africa as well.”People are influenced by such incidents and do not want to visit Namibia, because a visitor was killed there in cold blood,” Viljoen said.”I don’t have a solution,” the MAG leader admitted frankly, “but I think we should change the minds of people, starting at home and at primary school.”Subjects such as life skills and bible study would help to instil virtues like responsibility, justice and fairness, Viljoen added.He also wanted to see the role of traditional leaders increased.Members agreed that the root causes of crime should be addressed, but individual speakers were at a loss to define them.”We had a similar debate before and we made recommendations, but nothing was implemented,” Loide Kasingo of Sapo said.She proposed a national conference on crime with input from the public.Prime Minister Nahas Angula quoted Article 6 of the Constitution, which says “the right of life shall be respected and protected”.Angula wanted the motion to be referred to a parliamentary standing committee, which should then hold public hearings to get input from the citizenry.”The recommendations drawn from this process should be translated into appropriate measures,” Angula suggested.Minister of Presidential Affairs Albert Kawana said part of the crime problem was that the new Criminal Procedure Act had not yet been implemented, as it should be enacted together with the Magistrate’s Courts Bill.”This Bill has still not been brought to Parliament; the two must go in tandem as they complement each other,” Kawana said.”The Criminal Procedure Act has far stiffer sentences for crime,” Kawana added.”Society is sick,” declared Fisheries Minister Abraham Iyambo.”Our society should be X-rayed so that we take a good look at society,” he noted.”We should go back to a value system, to the fabric of society we knew when we grew up”.Former Minister of Justice Ngarikutuke Tjiriange felt that courts often passed lenient sentences and criminals did not feel the wrath of the law.”The judges are afraid to pass stiff sentences because these might be reduced through an appeal,” Tjiriange said.It often happened that prison sentences were reduced and criminals only served half of their terms, Tjiriange added.According to Deputy Justice Minister Uutoni Nujoma, capitalism and the unequal distribution of resources caused crime in Namibia.”Crime is rooted in capitalism, just look at Cuba, there is hardly any crime,” he told fellow MPs.Nujoma was quick to assure the House that the long-awaited Magistrate’s Court Bill would soon be tabled in the National Assembly.”We don’t want to come with a half-baked potato,” Nujoma Junior said.”We want it to be tasteful,” he said, referring to the Bill.Jurie Viljoen of the Monitor Action Group (MAG) tabled a motion asking the House to debate the “sudden increase in brutal killings” following the murder of a commercial farmer and a South African recently, which received wide media coverage in South Africa as well.”People are influenced by such incidents and do not want to visit Namibia, because a visitor was killed there in cold blood,” Viljoen said.”I don’t have a solution,” the MAG leader admitted frankly, “but I think we should change the minds of people, starting at home and at primary school.”Subjects such as life skills and bible study would help to instil virtues like responsibility, justice and fairness, Viljoen added.He also wanted to see the role of traditional leaders increased.Members agreed that the root causes of crime should be addressed, but individual speakers were at a loss to define them.”We had a similar debate before and we made recommendations, but nothing was implemented,” Loide Kasingo of Sapo said.She proposed a national conference on crime with input from the public.Prime Minister Nahas Angula quoted Article 6 of the Constitution, which says “the right of life shall be respected and protected”.Angula wanted the motion to be referred to a parliamentary standing committee, which should then hold public hearings to get input from the citizenry.”The recommendations drawn from this process should be translated into appropriate measures,” Angula suggested.Minister of Presidential Affairs Albert Kawana said part of the crime problem was that the new Criminal Procedure Act had not yet been implemented, as it should be enacted together with the Magistrate’s Courts Bill.”This Bill has still not been brought to Parliament; the two must go in tandem as they complement each other,” Kawana said.”The Criminal Procedure Act has far stiffer sentences for crime,” Kawana added.”Society is sick,” declared Fisheries Minister Abraham Iyambo.”Our society should be X-rayed so that we take a good look at society,” he noted.”We should go back to a value system, to the fabric of society we knew when we grew up”.Former Minister of Justice Ngarikutuke Tjiriange felt that courts often passed lenient sentences and criminals did not feel the wrath of the law.”The judges are afraid to pass stiff sentences because these might be reduced through an appeal,” Tjiriange said. It often happened that prison sentences were reduced and criminals only served half of their terms, Tjiriange added.According to Deputy Justice Minister Uutoni Nujoma, capitalism and the unequal distribution of resources caused crime in Namibia.”Crime is rooted in capitalism, just look at Cuba, there is hardly any crime,” he told fellow MPs.Nujoma was quick to assure the House that the long-awaited Magistrate’s Court Bill would soon be tabled in the National Assembly.”We don’t want to come with a half-baked potato,” Nujoma Junior said.”We want it to be tasteful,” he said, referring to the Bill.

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