Se­nior cit­i­zens con­demn killings

Sunday Express - - NEWS -

THE Maseru Women Se­nior Cit­i­zens as­so­ci­a­tion (MWSCa) has con­demned the spate of killings and abuse of el­derly per­sons and young women in the coun­try, say­ing they are liv­ing in fear of their lives as a re­sult.

The MWSCa, which was estab­lished in 1997 by a group of el­derly women in Maseru West, re­cently cel­e­brated its 20th an­niver­sary as well as the in­ter­na­tional Day of Older Per­sons which is ob­served an­nu­ally on 1 Oc­to­ber.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion was estab­lished with the aim of pro­vid­ing en­ter­tain­ment to the el­derly and to en­able them to share their life ex­pe­ri­ences.

Over the years, MWSCa has be­come a re­cip­i­ent of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional donor funds to en­gage in sev­eral projects such as train­ing el­derly women who care for or­phans and vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren af­fected by HiV/aiDS.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion also con­ducts cam- paigns to cre­ate aware­ness on the im­por­tance of car­ing for se­nior cit­i­zens.

Ma­batho Mosoe­un­yane, an MWSCa mem­ber, yes­ter­day told the Sun­day Ex­press that the cel­e­bra­tions were held against the back­ground of wor­ry­ing de­vel­op­ments where el­derly per­sons con­tin­ued to be killed and abused on un­founded ac­cu­sa­tions.

“We are very much con­cerned about the abuse and killings of se­nior cit­i­zens in our coun­try and we there­fore ap­peal for a strong ad­vo­cacy against those bru­tal killings,” Ms Mosoe­un­yane said.

“One of our du­ties is to ad­vo­cate for the rights of el­derly women and we also call on the public to make noise and ad­vo­cate for the well­be­ing of the el­derly.

“Most of the crimes hap­pen within fam­i­lies and they are com­mit­ted by our chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. The sad part is keep­ing the abuse a se­cret.

“We are of­ten afraid to speak out be­cause the same chil­dren who abuse also pro­vide for us. They sup­port us fi­nan­cially so there is al­ways fear of be­ing abandoned even though we need to speak out and pro­tect our­selves.”

asked how the abuse has af­fected their self-es­teem and con­fi­dence, Ms Mosoe­un­yane said: “We take age­ing as great bless­ing from god, as the Ten Com­mand­ments say; ‘Honor your fa­ther and your mother that your days may be long in the land the Lord your god is giv­ing you’. Our ag­ing is a bless­ing be­cause we re­spected our par­ents there­fore we have to be grate­ful in­stead of be­ing wor­ried.”

“Yes, the per­pe­tra­tors make us live in fear but if our chil­dren want to live longer they also need to re­spect the el­derly.”

Makeketsi Molefe, who spoke on be­half of the chil­dren of se­nior cit­i­zens, com­mended MWSCa for its vi­tal role in up­lift­ing the lives of se­nior cit­i­zens of Maseru.

“The as­so­ci­a­tion has helped them to unite to share ideas and life ex­pe­ri­ences be­cause it can be very dif­fi­cult for them to share cer­tain things with us as their chil­dren.

“it is a won­der­ful plat­form that helps them to open up about ev­ery­thing and not bot­tle their fears and wor­ries,” Ms Molefe said.

She said some se­nior cit­i­zens suf­fered from age-re­lated ill­nesses such as de­men­tia which caused them to for­get so many is­sues but or­gan­i­sa­tions like MWSCa helped to save and look af­ter their money which would oth­er­wise be stolen from them by their relatives.

“as youth and chil­dren, we call for the pro­tec­tion of se­nior cit­i­zens from the killings and abuse. We wish MWSCa an­other 20 years of up­lift­ing the el­derly com­mu­nity around the coun­try,” she said.

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