Namibia

Decriminalization of sodomy unlikely to pass in northern Namibia

Placido Hilokilua

The decriminalization of sodomy and the legalization of same-sex marriages is likely to hit a wall if politicians take into account the views of the vast majority of the populous northern regions of Namibia, where such proposals are dismissed as an “unspeakable abomination”.

The traditional Ovawambo communities inhabiting Omusati, Oshana, Ohangwena and much of Oshikoto, are not allowed, depending on the culture, even to discuss issues related to homosexuality.

“We are the custodians of our people’s customary norms and totally reject any proposal to legalize same-sex practices, let alone decriminalize sodomy,” said George Nilolo, head of the Okunyama Traditional Authority (OuTA).

Dineinge Sheya, Queen Martha’s secretary to Christian Nelumbo, said Oshiwambo culture does not even allow for a discussion about homosexuality.

“It’s an abhorrent thing, and it’s something that, in our traditional societies, is not open to debate at all,” he said.

Talking about homosexual issues is one of those topics that would infuriate any ordinary Oshiwambo speaking person, said Chairman Kashona Malulu, a spokesperson for the Ondonga Traditional Authority (OTA).

We cannot talk about the normalization of the abnormal. “Our culture only allows marriage between a man and a woman,” said Thomas Kachihula, a resident of Ushakati.

Since then, homosexual acts have been considered by traditional communities in Ovawambo to be an abhorrent practice.

Indeed, in the past, people who displayed homosexual tendencies had a hot iron inserted into their anus, a punishment intended to “teach them a lesson”.

There is currently an intense public debate on every platform imaginable about the potential legalization of same-sex marriage in Namibia, the proposed decriminalization of sodomy, and the repeal of other outdated laws dating back to Namibia’s colonial past.

The debate sparked recent developments, including court cases regarding same-sex marriage and the Law Reform and Development Commission’s proposal to repeal a number of laws, including one that criminalizes sodomy, “unnatural” sexual acts such as masturbation, oral sex, and anal intercourse between people of the same sex. sex.

Those calling for change affirm the principle of equal rights for all, but those who oppose accuse “urban dwellers” of siding with a “gay lobby” to subvert African mores.

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