Namibia: Deputy Finance Minister’s anti-gay rant

Namibia’s Finance deputy minister, Natangue Ithete, launched a scathing verbal attack on homosexuality this week, declaring to Ministry of Finance staff that African culture does not entertain gays. Ithete accused foreigners coming into Namibia under false pretences and selling the idea to local cultures that homosexuality is acceptable. Ithete’s remarks have an international flair to it, following only days after Kenyan President Kenyatta said gay rights were a non-issue. 

“You are either a man or a woman. Don’t come from outside and tell us this is acceptable. They must keep their gay activities in their countries. We will not entertain any of this gayness [sic],” Ithete told staff during a visit to the ministry’s western region. Ithete’s attack on homosexuals followed as he urged customs and excise staff to welcome foreigners “with a true Namibian welcome”.  Foreigners will always be treated well in Namibia on condition they respect Namibia’s cultural orientations and not encourage or entertain anything he labelled as “un-Namibian”, said Ithete.

Despite the segmented homophobic remarks, Ithete welcomed foreigners to Namibia and acknowledged the importance of foreign involvement in the country like investment and assistance in areas the country lacks. “We have our president to respect. The president of Angola is not above any other president in Africa. When you are the president of your country, direct your people in your country and don’t influence us here. Sorry, this is how it’s going to be,” he pressed.  Read More