MenEngage Botswana is greatly disappointed by reports on the alleged defilement of a minor by Member of Parliament for Nata-Gweta constituency by Mr Polson Majaga. The welfare of children remains threatened due to actions such as defilement which sometimes go unreported or are ignored when high ranking officials are implicated. We wish to caution that this sets a bad precedence and portrays Botswana as a nation that is not invested in protecting children as a vulnerable group.
We note with concern that there still remains a big gap in addressing issues of child abuse and holding perpetrators accountable. Cases of defilement were reported to be on the rise during the lock down period and we expect all community leaders to come out to condemn such acts – not to be implicated in them. We understand that for the family of the victim, this is a challenging time and that it was not entirely easy to report this matter.
We applaud them and in showing our support, we call for the following:
- For Mr Polson Majaga to step down from his Member of Parliament position and allow for investigations to be carried out as diligently as possible.
- For the law enforcement agencies to treat the case (and all cases of defilement of minors) as a matter of urgency and priority to ensure that the victim gets justice and closure.
- For the victim and the family to be given psycho-social support to allow them to cope with the situation.
We stand in solidarity with other members of civil society who have issued strong-worded statements on this matter and commit to ensuring justice is achieved. We wish to reiterate that inter-generational sex is never warranted or justifiable; as societies and organisations let us all endeavour to make environments safe for children.
For more details, please contact:
Desmond Lunga, Team Leader; Men and Boys for Gender Equality at +267 75 306 777 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About MenEngage Botswana
MenEngage Botswana is a member of MenEngage Africa Alliance (MEA), which consists of 22 country networks spread across East, West, Central and Southern Africa, with over 300 non-governmental organisations at grass-root, national and regional levels that seek to engage men and boys to achieve gender equality. The Botswana MenEngage network has over 20 members across the country.
Across the continent, MEA members work collectively toward advancing gender justice, human rights and social justice in key thematic areas including Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), gender-based violence (GBV) & HIV prevention, Child Rights and Positive Parenting and in promoting peace on the continent. Members implement joint advocacy programmes at national level with their governments, regional level with Regional Economic Communities (RECS) and at international levels at various platforms on the MEA thematic areas.