MAPUTO– The Mozambican government has approved a National Plan for Preventing and Combatting Gender-Based Violence (GBV) which will run from 2018 to 2021, says Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism and Government Spokesperson Ana Comoana.

She told the media after the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) here Tuesday that the government had also budgeted a sum of 24 million meticais (about 407,000 US dollars), to implement eh plan, which is aimed at promoting a culture of peace, and thus strategically prioritising the prevention, education and raising awareness of GBV.

Other priorities are responding to violence, improving the country’s legal framework, and monitoring and assessing actions seeking to eliminate gender-based violence. It is expected that implementation of this plan can reduce the levels of violence and strengthen coordination and monitoring mechanisms, said Comoana.

The available statistics suggest an increase in domestic violence in Mozambique. In 2016, a total of 26,000 cases of domestic violence were reported, compared with 20,000 cases reported in 2009.

The idea is that we need a plan that can reduce these levels,” said Comoana, who also announced that more than 12,000 government employees did not present the obligatory annual proof of life in 2017.

In order to ensure that the State only pays salaries to people who really exist, every State employee must, in the month of their birthday, go in person to a specified government office to show that they are still alive.

In 2017, the government hoped that 335,825 state employees would produce proof of life, but in fact only 323,748 did so � which was 96.4 per cent of the target. This does not necessarily mean that all the missing 12,077 are ghost workers. In some more remote areas, it may be difficult for workers to go in person to the relevant office.