Last edited: February 13, 2005

Gay-Bashers Run Riot in Parliament

The Namibian, November 1, 2000
Windhoek, Namibia

By Max Hamata

WINDHOEK—Pandemonium reigned in the National Assembly yesterday as some of Swapo’s homophobic MPs continuously disrupted proceedings to delay debate on the ratification of the African court on human rights.

The Swapo MPs interrupted CoD’s Rosa Namises after she rose to resume debate on the ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Establishment of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights. She attracted the ire of several Swapo MPs when she noted that minority rights, such as those of gays and lesbians, were under threat from the authorities in Namibia.

Not even Speaker of the National Assembly Mose Tjitendero’s constant warnings that "calling people names was unacceptable and reflected badly on the House" were enough to restore order.

Even after Tjitendero had explained that all human rights were respected in the House, Swapo MPs Jerry Ekandjo, Hadino Hishongwa and Jeremiah Nambinga continued to disrupt the debate.

Ekandjo justified his disruption by equating homosexuality with sodomy. "As far as I know sodomy is still a crime in this country. Why is it bad to call someone a lesbian ... What is sodomy?" he asked.

Tjitendero called him to order, reminding him that as the Minister responsible for Home Affairs he should know what sodomy is. "I do not accept utterances made out of emotional expression. I urge you not to make offensive expressions to each other," Tjitendero said.

Hishongwa, however, continued to complain: "The ruling in this House is one- sided ... it is undemocratic. In this House some people are more important than others."

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