Queer community denounces ‘homophobic’ Ekandjo

Calls on MP to apologise

23 November 2021 | Local News

ESTER KAMATI







WINDHOEK

The civil society organisations (CSOs) representing LGBTQI persons in Namibia recently condemned the remarks made by Swapo Party member of parliament and former youth minister Jerry Ekandjo.

Ekandjo, in a now viral national budget discussion in Parliament, made remarks towards queer persons which the CSO said were dehumanising.

“We condemn the inappropriate language, violent and hate-filled speech by the Swapo MP, Mr Jerry Ekandjo,” a statement read, adding that the remarks made have caused members of the LGBTQI community in Namibia to not feel safe.

"It is disheartening for the Namibian LGBTQI community to continue experiencing hate speech and dehumanising utterances that amplify homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in the country.”

The statement further called on allies of the community to speak out against the discrimination and “incitement of violence against the community”.

They also called on Ekandjo to apologise for the damage caused, and asked that he “retract his dog whistle to homophobes, biphobes and transphobes who now feel emboldened to continue their attacks on peaceful LGBTQI+ persons in all the corners of Namibia”.

Fuelling stigma

The MP is allegedly notorious for picking at members of the queer community, which they say fuels the stigma and violence against the already marginalised group.

The statement referred to Ekandjo as “lacking understanding” of the “realities lived by the LGBTQI community as well as the progress made by the country to affirm diversity and recognise inequality”.

The CSOs have also titled the remarks a contradiction to the Namibian Constitution’s respect for life and human dignity, stating that the Ekandjo has a “lack of realising the spirit and the letter of the constitution”.

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