There is no need to go around consulting people on GBV issues- Ramaphane
Member of Parliament for Mahalapye East, Yandani Boko last week tabled a motion asking the President to establish a Commission of Inquiry on Gender-Based Violence (GBV), rape and other sexual offences but the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Eric Molale called for its amendment saying instead of a Commission of Inquiry, an Inter Ministerial Committee should be established.
This raised a number of questions leading to Boko withdrawing his motion this week.
However, parliament voted against his withdrawal and the motion will go ahead as amended.
The Voice Reporter, DANIEL CHIDA engages MPs and a human rights organisation Executive Director to get their views.
Never Tshabang- MP for Nkange
The inter-ministerial Committee is very weak as compared to commission of inquiry on GBV.
A commission of inquiry has a force and effect and it was going to include all sectors of society to contribute to solve GBV, identify challenges and propose solutions.
We currently have Domestic Violence Act, which is not effective, any inter ministerial Committee will not improve this Act.
We also need an offenders register to name and shame so that people will see the seriousness of GBV and we also need a specialised court system to expedite cases to ensure that justice is delivered on time.
Gender Based Violence violates fundamental human rights and freedoms of women and children, and it is not only the physical aspect but also psychological and financial aspects that victims go through.
The BDP continues to use its numbers to punish Batswana by declining motions that come from opposition block, and that is what happened with Boko’s motion.
Onneetse Ramogapi- MP for Palapye
Inter Ministerial committee is just the same as asking the rapist to investigate the alleged rape he committed.
The same executive has been ruling this country for 55 years, watching, listening to how woman are abused but failing dismally to find a solution to the problem.
This is the same government that fail to train police, magistrates and even judges on how to handle these cases.
It is very wrong for the executive to investigate himself or herself and the fact that the same executive will appoint members of the committee, makes the public to lose trust and confidence in it.
The commission of enquiry was going to go deep into the root of the problem and recommend solutions.
Since 1966 I have never heard anything good about inter-ministerial committee but I can cite good jobs done by commissions of enquiry, an example being the Balopi commission.
Wynter Mmolotsi- MP for Francistown South
Ministries already have different reports relating to GBV and they have not acted on the recommendations of those reports not even to attempt to budget for key areas of GBV that needed immediate intervention.
To this end I feel that ministries have failed and time has come to escalate the matter to an independent commission of enquiry led by a competent authority such as a judge of the High Court or somebody with related qualifications and experience.
In short the- inter ministerial committee will not achieve what the motion sought to achieve.
Goretetse Kekgonegile- MP for Maun East
Honourable Boko’s motion was not defeated by logic but politics spearheaded by BDP women in parliament.
The nation witnessed a patriarchal society at play whereby Mokgethi was influenced to spearhead killing of the GBV motion on Friday only for men (Molale and Tsogwane) to somersault with a different strategy on Monday.
Women across the country should not look up to BDP and women parliamentarians for protection on GBV issues.
Parliament standing orders are undemocratic in terms of forcing amendments that distort the core essence of motions on the mover.
To make it worse, standing orders empower parliament to refuse a withdrawal by the mover.
That interpretation of standing order 48.1 by the Speaker has armed BDP hence all our motions will suffer the same fate.
It’s unfortunate this happens while gender based violence statistics are picking by the day.
Motsamai Motsamai- MP for Gantsi South
Ministers were exposed so they resorted to doing monkey tricks so it was good for Boko to withdraw his motion because by amending it means it loses its meaning.
Dithapelo Keorapetse- MP for Selibe-Phikwe West
There is a serious deficit of democracy in our parliament and it continues unabated.
How can a motion with clear objectives of an independent enquiry be watered down and or be replaced by a motion, which has a totally different intention?
There is tyranny of the majority of BDP MPs in parliament and the Speaker has failed to protect the rights of the minority opposition.
He has set a dangerous and bad precedent that the ruling party can use its numbers to alter motions brought by opposition MPs to suit their political objectives of not acting on national matters.
That the House has purportedly resolved to ask the President to set up an inter-ministerial Committee is laughable; the same ministries have failed monumentally to address GBV issues, they are failing currently and will continue to fail if there is no outside independent intervention proposed by Boko.
Peggy Ramaphane – Executive Director of Women Against Rape (WAR)
We were quite disappointed by how our MPs handled the issue because even their debating spirit was full of violence.
There is no need to go around consulting people on issues of GBV because statistics are there all over, what is needed is a budget.
Each Ministry should be allocated a budget for GBV issues.
Lock down did show that more shelters for abused women are needed and us at WAR together with other organisations have been in contact with government trying to show what is needed but funds are never availed.
Researches have been done and recommendations brought forward but when there is no budget to implement then forget.
We expect the MPs to treat such issues seriously.