A year of political drama

The political year 2023 will primarily be remembered for Namibia’s judiciary and parliament being at loggerheads over the recognition of same-sex marriages legally concluded abroad. We look at this saga and others that littered the political landscape this year.


The Supreme Court ordered in May that non-Namibians in same-sex marriages with Namibian citizens must enjoy the same residence rights in Namibia that the Immigration Control Act accords to non-citizens in heterosexual marriages with Namibian citizens.

Parliament was hell-bent on not allowing this by passing a private member’s bill that defines the term spouse as being between a biological man and a woman, invoking article 81 and 45 of the Constitution to contradict a decision of the Supreme Court and assert the representative nature of the National Assembly.

The Supreme Court found, in a judgement written by chief justice Peter Shivute and appeal judge Dave Smuts, that the term “spouse” in the Immigration Control Act includes same-sex spouses lawfully married in another country.

Meanwhile, attorney general Festus Mbandeka in the High Court denied that the mere existence of the sodomy laws promotes the stigmatisation of gay men.

“If these men suffer from any stigma, it is because of their choice to engage in sexual behaviour that is considered morally taboo in our society.”

This is while the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security confirmed the implementation of the Supreme Court judgement to recognise same-sex marriages validly concluded between Namibians and foreign nationals outside Namibia.

This bill is on the desk of president Hage Geingob to sign into power or not.


The Windhoek municipal council started and will end this year in crisis mode.

For the first three months of the year, the Windhoek city council did not have a mayor, deputy or a functioning management committee because the councillors did not agree.

This led to the line minister, Erastus Uutoni, threatening to dissolve the council.

Opposition councillors again walked out on the election for the council’s leadership. However, the council managed to secure a mayor and deputy while the management committee is still incomplete.

The Independent Patriots for Change has been silent and absent during the voting, saying “the monster of the vote of no confidence is here to bite them”.


The National Council held a workshop on protocol and etiquette for members of parliament’s (MPs) spouses, where parliament spent at least N$189 000 on a five-day seminar on proper behaviour of the MPs’ spouses.

According to an internal memo, the council will spend at least N$4 500 to cater for the travel and subsistence (S&T) allowances of each spouse.


Opposition parties kicked up a storm over the government’s plans to grant Chinese nationals visa-free entry into Namibia for 30 days.

Popular Democratic Movement MP Hidipo Hamata in the National Assembly said:

“In essence, visa exemption is a symbol of trust between two countries. However, the Namibian government extending a visa- free courtesy to Chinese citizens arriving in Namibia for a period of 30 days would not be fair if the same privilege is not extended to Namibian citizens arriving in China.”

Ally Angula


The following individuals have emerged as presidential candidates for the 2024 general election.

Ally Angula – the former finance ministry deputy executive director will stand as an independent candidate. She said her move was a directive from God telling her to stand for the elections.

Panduleni Itula – The country’s first independent candidate in the previous election will be representing his Independent Patriots for Change.

Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah – the country’s international relations minister will represent the ruling party in next year’s election.

Bernadus Swartbooi – The orange and green political party remains with their leader as the candidate to vie for the high office.

Job Amupanda

Job Amupanda – One Sunday morning in March, Windhoek and Walvis Bay residents were met with billboards of the head of Affirmative Repositioning activist announcing his bid for the presidency


National Assembly lawmakers also pushed the government to regulate and limit the number of sport betting shops across the country to tackle underage gambling, addiction and fraud.


The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture rejected a bill making it mandatory to provide free sanitary products to girls. Deputy education minister Faustina Caley defended the decision, saying the government already provides N$15 per girl, per year for sanitary pads.


This year, there was another attempt to regulate social media with parliamentarians discussing the possibility.

This time, lawmaker Vipua Muharukua introduced the discussion in the National Assembly, saying there are concerns regarding the misuse of personal data, the spread of hate speech, misinformation and cyber-bullying.

Anna Nghipondoka


This year kicked off with the devastating results of the Grade 11 Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Ordinary (NSSCO) results, with only 5 812 out of 38 019 pupils being eligible to study at institutions of higher learning.

The minister of education, arts and culture Anna Nghipondoka put the blame on the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, which would last for at least another three years.

Nghipondoka had to explain these results to both the Cabinet and the National Assembly.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News