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JERRY IS STILL THE OLD EKANDJO

By: Wonder Guchu

Jerry Ekandjo has not changed a bit.

His comments on Tuesday in the National Assembly about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people is not new.

Contributing to the mid-term budget review, Ekandjo took a swipe at the LGBTI, saying that the Constitution says only men and women must marry.

Ekandjo also said if the anti-gay law comes in the National Assembly, he will throw it out.

“If we wanted gay, we should have said all persons shall have a right to marry. We made it clear when we were drafting the Constitution. I mean, the Constitution does not allow it,” he said.

In 1998, when Ekandjo was the home affairs minister said the ministry had plans to draft controversial anti-homosexuality legislation.

Ekandjo told the National Assembly then that the planned legislation would introduce heavy penalties against gays and lesbians aimed at curbing the spread of homosexual practices.

Ekandjo appealed to other parliamentarians to help change the law and ban homosexuality.

“It is my considered opinion that the so-called gay rights can never qualify as human rights. They are wrongly claimed because it is inimical to true Namibian culture, African culture and religion. They should be classified as human wrongs which must rank as a sin against society and God,” Ekandjo said.

Ekandjo also took a swipe at the LGBTI community in 2000 when he was participating at the pass out parade of 700 police cadets at Ondangwa.

Ekandjo told the cadets that the Constitution does not guarantee rights for gays and lesbians.

“We must make sure we eliminate them from the face of Namibia,” Ekandjo said during the pass out parade.

He added: “Even if gays and lesbians had a gay dog they should murder it.”

The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) also has spoken against LGBTI, describing it as a “satanic and demonic practice”.

The SPYL secretary Ephraim Nekongo said Namibia should not legalise homosexuality.

Nekongo urged parliamentarians not to waste time discussing homosexuality in the country.

First Lady Monica Geingos is on record saying that the anti-sodomy law is likely to conflict with the Constitution’s protection of the right to privacy.

In June 2019, Geingos said the sodomy law is the only law in Namibia that discriminates against men.

“It is a little bit illogical to the point that nobody has been charged and convicted with sodomy in a very long time, to the point that we had put it on ice. There is a moratorium on this charge,” Geingos pointed out.

In May this year, Geingos said there had been no recorded prosecutions on sodomy since independence 31 years ago.

“The “sodomy law” serves no legal purpose, instead, it results in harm and discrimination,” she said, adding that the law shouldn’t concern itself with what happens between consenting adults.

During Ekandjo’s speech in the National Assembly on Tuesday, RDP leader and MP Mike Kavekotora had to stand up and appeal to the Speaker regarding Ekandjo’s language.

Wonder Guchu

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