Anti-gay marriage protesters call on Geingob to fire Dausab

... while founding president dubs same-sex marriage a foreign norm

A group of people protesting against the Supreme Court ruling on the recognition of foreign same-sex marriage in the country have called on president Hage Geingob to relieve justice minister Yvonne Dausab of her duties with immediate effect.

Various protesters took to the streets on Friday to demonstrate against same-sex marriage nationwide.

In a petition submitted to Oshana governor Elia Irimari on Friday, protesters at Oshakati, calling themselves the Coalition of Churches and Organisations, accused the minister of not representing the morals and values of the Namibian people.

In their petition, read on behalf of the group by pastor Samuel Hendricks of the Leading Christian Church at Ongwediva, the group noted that the minister had reportedly married a woman in South Africa.

“It is our view that the minister has often abused her powers of office to advance the interests of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and other (LGBTQI+) community. For instance, through attempts to repeal the common law on prohibition of sodomy and redefine spouse to include same sex in the draft marriage bill,” the group said.

“The conduct of the honourable minister demonstrates the pursuit of personal interest. Therefore, she is incapable of representing the voice of the Namibian people, but rather has demonstrated capability to abuse her office to advance personal interests and that of the few,” the group alleged.

Dausab referred The Namibian to the executive director in the justice ministry, Gladice Pickering.

President Geingob’s spokesperson Alfredo Hengari did not respond to a text message sent to him. However, when The Namibian queried him last week about growing calls to sack the minister, he responded “no comment”.

The group also called on Geingob to direct the Judicial Service Commission to institute an investigation into what they term gross misconduct on the part of the four judges who delivered the judgment in the Supreme Court, with an intent to remove them as judges.

The group claimed that the act of the court is tantamount to gross negligence, as the court allegedly failed to discharge its duty to administer justice, uphold the Constitution and defend the integrity of democracy.

“But misinterpreted and misapplied the Namibian Constitution and law to advance personal interests.”

The group called on parliament to enact a law which prohibits same sex marriage and “funding that promotes homosexuality” and prohibits LGBTQI+ communities in Namibia.

According to the group, the judiciary cannot determine matters of morals, customs and values of the people.

They alleged that the judiciary should refer matters of morals and customs to parliament.

The group said while the Constitution of Namibia provides that Namibia is a secular state, it must be acknowledged that any democratic society takes the form and shape of dominant values based on the majority.

“It is apparent that the decision of the Supreme Court is not only gravely erroneous with dire ramifications, but also lead to legal uncertainty and loss of confidence in the judiciary, which is tantamount to a failed democracy,” they said.

On Friday, protesters from different towns demonstrated against the recognition of foreign same-sex marriages in the country.

This includes protests at Omuthiya, Oshakati, Ondangwa and Windhoek.

The Oshakati protest was not well attended, with Namibia Bus and Taxi Association secretary general Pendapala Nakathingo blaming the media for the low turnout, saying his group was denied airtime.

He also castigated the media, claiming they were not covering the protest.

During the protest in Windhoek, four members reportedly belonging to the LGBTQI+ community were arrested for allegedly interrupting protesters, following a scuffle.

Namibian Police national spokesperson deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi confirmed the arrest, saying it occurred during the handover of a petition to National Assembly secretary Lydia Kandetu at Zoo Park.

She said the four were taken to the police station where they were warned against interfering and disrupting the process.

“They were advised to procedurally submit their request should they intend to demonstrate or hand over a petition, ultimately, they were let go,” Shikwambi said. She added that they were not charged.

In recent weeks, political and traditional leaders have condemned the Supreme Court judgement.

During the omaango/omagongo cultural festival at Ohamautsi village in the Omusati region on Saturday, founding president Sam Nujoma condemned same-sex marriage, describing it as “foreign norms and values being imposed on us”.

“I want to join the eight traditional authorities in the north and many Namibians in condemning the same-sex marriage agenda that is being advanced in our country,” Nujoma said in a speech read on his behalf by Ruacana constituency councillor Andreas Shintama.

“I wish to urge Namibian people and Africa as a whole to be vigilant against some alien, foreign norms and values, which are being imposed on us and are contrary to our own African cultural norms and traditions,” Nujoma said on Saturday.

This is not the first time Nujoma has condemned homosexuality. In 2001, Nujoma called on the police to arrest, deport and imprison gays and lesbians, as homosexual behaviour was not permitted in Namibia.

Last week, eight northern traditional chiefs claimed the Supreme Court ruling directing the government to recognise same-sex marriages legally concluded outside Namibia disregards Namibia’s accepted norms and traditional practices.

The chiefs said this in a letter to the chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders in Namibia chief Immanuel /-Gâseb.

Nearly two weeks ago, NamRights executive director Phil ya Nangoloh condemned verbal attacks on the judiciary by “unscrupulous elements, as well as political opportunists in our society”.

Ya Nangoloh said some of the attacks are based on sheer ignorance of what rights and freedoms are guaranteed by the Namibian Constitution, as well as misguided religious beliefs, personal views and sheer hypocrisy.

“Most of the hypocrisy in some of those attacks lies in the fact that their perpetrators claim our Namibian Constitution is written for us and/or even imposed upon us by Americans or Europeans.

“This is as if the holy Bible was written by Africans,” Ya Nangoloh said.

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  1. we dont want story of gay in our namibia land please they must go back to south africa where the get marrige not in here …


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