MPs Have Blood on Their Hands

Namibian lawmakers and Christian churches have legalised the killing of and wanton violence against fellow citizens who are vulnerable and in the minority.

The discovery yesterday morning of 30-year-old Christof Fredricks’s body (with genitals cut off and placed on her chest) is the latest proof that virulent hate messages by members of parliament (MPs) and church leaders are being carried out by their followers.

Fredricks is the sixth LGBTQI+ community member to be killed in cold blood since lawmakers last year unanimously went on a homophobic rampage, abusing the parliament to rush through a battery of laws aimed at erasing harmless fellow citizens.

The orgy of violence is not only against the LGBTQI+ community.

About 20 women have been killed in gender-based violence (GBV) incidents this year, while 380 cases of GBV were reported to the police between November 2023 and January 2024.

Led by demagogues and the foul-mouthed Swapo backbencher Jerry Ekandjo, nearly all 146 MPs in the National Assembly and National Council appear to have supported bills that make it illegal to engage in same-sex relationships.

Agriculture minister Calle Schlettwein was the only MP reported to have opposed the proposed hateful laws, which, thankfully, the late president Hage Geingob seemed, and his successor seems unwilling to sign.

It’s hard to accept, but the barbaric attack and mutilation of Fredricks’ body – she was reportedly stabbed 32 times – is an indication that civilisation, underpinned by fundamental human rights, has not taken root in Namibia – 34 years after the country was formally founded to avoid a repeat of any form of apartheid and its heinous practices.

Namibia was founded on the “recognition [that] the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is indispensable for freedom, justice and peace”.

The Constitution also states that “the said rights include the right of the individual to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of race, colour, ethnic origin, sex, religion, creed or social or economic status”.

Ekandjo, his fellow parliamentarians, churches and their supporters either blatantly lie or have no appreciation for what the struggle for the liberation of Namibia was when they argue that it was not for the rights of gay and homosexual people.

Liberty and the pursuit of happiness cannot be for some and be denied to others.

It’s sickening that many of the lawmakers who support homophobic bills have themselves complained about the marginalisation of minority groups, especially when it comes to the distribution of the country’s resources.

How they can support taking away the basic rights of fellow human beings who do them no harm should provide sleepless nights to all who care about the long-term survival of Namibia.

Hate speech, especially the kind that dehumanises others, is bound to result in the cycle of violence that Namibia has been in for decades.

As the wise have long put it, a society that cannot protect its most vulnerable members should forget about living in peace and harmony.

The culture of physical violence and verbal abuse prevalent against the LGBTQI+ community, and extended to children and women currently, will engulf the entire population sooner rather than later in our young nation.

We should not be surprised that Namibia ranks high on the list of countries with the most violent attacks, killings and suicides.

Women and children are considered inferior and even less than human to warrant equal rights, freedom, peace and justice.
Our lawmakers must reverse their homophobic laws and the culture of hate.

The National Assembly and National Council must take a zero tolerance approach towards hate speech targeted at the vulnerable members of the population, instead of lawmakers being the abusers.

As it is, MPs have got too much blood of our fellow citizens on their hands.

Where is your compassion?
Where is your humanity?
Enough is enough.

It’s time Namibia’s lawmakers came to their senses and called off their barbaric troops.

It’s time to embrace tolerance and coexistence.

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