New Call for Anti-Gay Law
April 21, 1999
By Christof Maletsky
WINDHOEKA Deputy Minister has called for legislation to punish
homosexuality in Namibia, a move which legal experts say could conflict with the
Constitution. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Jeremiah Nambinga, described homosexuality
as an evil and anti-social practice which should not only be condemned but be legislated
He was speaking during the Budget debate in the National Assembly on Monday. Nambinga
hit out at what he called "the degree of intolerance" displayed by some local
media and politicians against those who refused to condone homosexual and lesbian
behaviour in the society.
"The anti-homosexual voices should not be suffocated in our democratic society.
There are those of us that believe that homosexuality is evil, homosexuality is
anti-social and should not be condemned but should also be legislated against." He
said the "disciples" of homosexuality were happy to spread their
"gospel" in the name of free speech, human rights and democracy, but were quick
to "suffocate" voices that disapproved of the "animal-like" behaviour.
"After all, homosexuals are patients of psychological and biological deviations.
Is this not selective morality of the worst order?" Nambinga said the majority of
Namibians needed to be protected against homosexuality while the encouragement of the
behaviour by the countrys leaders was tantamount to a betrayal of trust.
"Our society should not encourage that culture of impunity with regard to the
deviant behaviour of homosexuality and lesbianism." Last year Home Affairs Minister
Jerry Ekandjo also called on Government to draft legislation providing for heavy penalties
against homosexual practices. Ekandjo said the legislation would curb the spread of such
However, legal experts said such legislation would conflict with the Namibian
Constitution as well as with safeguards in the countrys Labour Act. Human rights
groups and sections of the media have in the past objected to anti-gay statements made by
various political figures, especially Swapo leaders.
The Ministers attitude appears to mirror that of the homophobic Zimbabwean
government, which has banned gay people from participating in an international book fair
in Harare in recent years. As a result worldwide criticism was directed at the Zimbabwean
[Home] [World] [Namibia]