‘Mbumba wont hire, fireover sexual orientation’

Alfredo Hengari

Presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari says president Nangolo Mbumba will not give in to pressure to remove justice minister Yvonne Dausab from her position.

This comes after an organisation against homosexuality and same-sex marriage called for Dausab’s removal or resignation as justice minister within 48 hours.

“Individuals are not appointed on the basis of their sexual orientation,” Hengari told The Namibian yesterday.

Hengari said the president is guided by the values and principles of the Constitution, which he has pledged to uphold in the exercise of his duties.

Yvonne Dausab

“Namibia is a constitutional democracy, which doesn’t discriminate against its citizens on the basis of sex, creed or religion,” Hengari said.

The organisation chaired by Pendapala Nakathingo, and called Stop Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage in Namibia, in a media statement on 12 June, noted a planned mass demonstration on 12 August.

Nakathingo said the organisation believes the appointment of Dausab as justice minister is against the rights of those opposed to same-sex marriage.

He said Dausab’s appointment serves as an injustice to those genetically born as men and women and who identify as such.

“Failure to meet our demands as natural men and women, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, boys and girls of this country, and as voters who put government to power, we shall demand a referendum,” noted the statement.

The organisation is also demanding that president Mbumba signs the marriage amendment and definition of spouse private members’ bills within 48 hours.

Nakathingo highlighted that while people are allowed to do what they want in the privacy of their bedrooms, the legalisation of same-sex marriage is destructive to the minds of children.

Pendapala Nakathingo

“We are not against them but we are against their activities … The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and other (LGBTQI+) agenda is not something of the public, therefore cannot be legalised… We love them, but [not] the thing they do,’’ he said.

Last year, a group of people protesting the Supreme Court ruling on the recognition of foreign same-sex marriages in the country called on president Hage Geingob to relieve Dausab of her duties with immediate effect.

Efforts to reach Dausab were yesterday unsuccessful.

Jesus Centre pastor Haruna Goroh says there are more important matters to focus on than sexual orientation, such as people dying of hunger. However, Goroh says he believes in peace, and if the removal of Dausab is what the majority of people want, then the president should listen to the majority.

“The president needs to man up and listen to the people and not listen to the voices from the West pushing an agenda that is not Namibian and not African. There should be no grey area in parliament, where a minister has taken a side and is using their orientation to progress their agenda.”

Activist Michael Amushelelo in a social media post called Dausab a man due to her to the ‘b’ she uses at the end of her surname, which is culturally used in male Damara surnames.

He also accused her of creating turmoil in the country.

“…The day this man got appointed as minister of justice, that’s when things started falling apart in our country,” he said.

However, LGBTQI+ activist Linda Baumann says Dausab never said she was a man and people should stop misconstruing the connotation of her surname.

Baumann called on the public to allow Dausab to choose to claim her identity and rather focus on her professional conduct.

Landless People’s Movement Party youth leader Duminga Ndala says the president has the discretion to remove ministers based on poor performance, not sexual orientation.

“The call for her removal should be based on merit and not emotions. We should establish the facts of whether she acted beyond her jurisdiction or against the supreme law, which is the Constitution,” she says.

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