Andrew Kathindi and Tujoromajo Kasuto
The Swapo Party Elders’ Council (SPEC) has condemned a proposed move by the Justice Ministry to repael a law that would make sodomy in Namibia legal.
The ruling party elders’ position comes as the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) two weeks ago also condemned the planned move , calling the practice of homosexuality in Namibia demonic and satanic, with SPYL Secretary, Ephraim Nekongo, refusing to back down on the league’s position. “In Namibia we understand that some people are demanding a law that would protect the homosexual/gays and lesbians. In Namibia, by law, homosexuals (gays and lesbians) are illegal. God created Adam and Eve (man and woman only),” SPEC Secretary Mukwaita Shanyengana said. Shanyengana further argued that because 90 percent of Namibians identify as Christians, therefore sodomy should not be unacceptable in the country.
The topic around the sodomy law has been a hotbed topic, with First Lady, Monica Geingos, coming out in support of the Government’s plans, denouncing homophobia. The comments by the Swapo elders come as a draft in which the Law Reform and Development Commission deemed the sodomy law to be obsolete in Namibia, was submitted to Justice Minister, Yvonne Dausab, for presentation to Cabinet for consideration. The change in the law is expected to be debated in the National Assembly. However, the elders of the Swapo party have warned Parliament to focus on other issues of national interest.
“We therefore, as elders of our people support the view of the Swapo Party Youth League that says that Members of Parliament should discuss issues of bread and butter, to improve the living standards of all Namibian people. In fact, Members of Parliament have to respect the views of the people who voted them,” Shanyengana said.
“People of Namibia shed their precious blood to liberate this country. There are priority things and projects in the Swapo manifesto that need to be implemented by the Swapo-led Government , like youth employment, the development of the country in various sector infrastructure, etc. in order to improve the living standard of our people.”
According the Swapo Party 2019 Election Manifesto, the party pledged to “promote specific youth enterprise development initiatives”, introduce a sector-specific internship programme in partnership with public and private entities, introduce incentive schemes for employers to employ young graduates,” amongst others in attempts to reduce youth unemployment.
Swapo’s election manifesto underlined development of infrastructure, which includes “developing new national water infrastructure” aiming to deal with water supply such as the “exploration of groundwater extraction from the Karst area to ensure enhanced water supply in the central part of Namibia, develop the Omdel and Kuiseb acquifers, “rehabilitate the Calueque-Oshakati water transfer system.”
The Swapo elders further said that Founding President, Sam Nujoma, has no need to apologise for remarks he made while President of the country.The gay community demanded that Nujoma apologise for his comments made in an old video, where he also condemned homosexuality. “Furthermore, our Founding Father, Doctor Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, the first President of Namibia, cannot be forced to apologies when he was talking about what is good or bad for the people of Namibia as some of the gays are demanding. The Founding Father is also entitled to his own opinion as a leader,” Shanyengana said.
Presidential Spokesperson Alfredo Hengari told the Windhoek Observer that Geingob, who is also President of the ruling Swapo party, that “The President took oath to abide by, obey and respect the constitution of the Republic of Namibia.” A gathering of church goers protested the proposal of same sex marriage in Namibia at the Zoo Park on Sunday.