They are trying to silence me – Mee Maria over lawsuit

Wendelinus Hamutenya

Gay activist Wendelinus Hamutenya says by suing him for N$1,5 million, the veterans’ association is attempting to silence him.

The Former Plan Combatants’ Association (FPCA) has launched a lawsuit against Hamutenya, also known as Meme Maria, in the High Court.

In the court documents, the association alleges that Hamutenya referred to former People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (Plan) combatants as sexually promiscuous, witches and practitioners of witchcraft. Hamutenya allegedly made the remarks in a TikTok video last year.

The association, which boasts a membership of 1 388, also said Hamutenya referred to its members as stupid and said their brains are upside down.

However, Hamutenya told The Namibian on Thursday that he had noticed with “satisfaction” that the war veterans opted to take legal steps against him for criticising (not insulting) them over what he termed anti-gay public statements.

“They are merely trying to silence me, a goal they will never achieve. To my understanding, they seem to have little knowledge of the law, not really blaming them for that… their understanding of these things might be limited.”

Hamutenya said he was not concerned about the war veterans taking legal action for defamation because he did not make any statements about them that could be reasonably considered defamatory.

“All I said was in retaliation to their unwarranted insults that were hurled at me first.” Hamutenya said his comments were not motivated by malice nor did they warrant claiming such a “ridiculous amount”. Hamutenya added that some of the aggrieved people were just followers in the struggle and did not wage war to liberate the country.

“Did they even fight? In which jungle were they? I am a war veteran too, maybe they don’t know. Why are they against homosexuals or me in this country?”

Hamutenya also said he is baffled by the amount requested by the former Plan combatants, saying he is not as rich as the war veterans may think.

“Sometimes people are threatened by gays and lesbians because they fear their own impulses… Whoever seeks war from me will get war, particularly these war veterans,” Hamutenya said.

FPCA spokesperson Charles Mubita yesterday told The Namibian he was unable to comment on the matter as it is before court. The FPCA was formed in November 2020 and is an affiliate of Swapo. It comprises former combatants who formed part of Swapo’s military wing, Plan. Swapo has condemned homosexuality and same-sex marriage in Namibia.

The party also rejected last year’s Supreme Court judgement compelling the state to recognise same-sex marriages conducted outside the country.

Swapo Party Youth League secretary Ephraim Nekongo was quoted in the media last year as saying homosexuality has no basis in Namibian laws.

“The Swapo party-led government should therefore avoid being complicit in the advancement of the demonic agenda of the dark forces that seek to undermine our principles, our culture and every moral fibre upon which the functionality of our society is premised,” he said.

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