A Namibian journalist allegedly fired on grounds of his sexual orientation plans to sue his former employer.
Festus Morgan, 27, a gay photographer who has been working for the weekly newspaper Windhoek Observer says he was fired unfairly.
“His reasons for dismissing me were not proper because they were more about my sexual orientation. I do my job to the best of my ability,” New Era newspaper quoted the photographer as saying.
The editor of the Windhoek Observer, Kuvee Kangueehi, when contacted by the New Era newspaper on the matter said, “I don’t know that he is gay.”
In Namibia, homosexuality is against the law. Sodomy is a crime under Roman-Dutch common law, which was imposed when the area was controlled by South Africa.
Gays in the southern African country operate underground for fear of being arrested or stigma but there are some accounts of gays who freely talk about their sexual orientation.
Ricardo Amunjera and Marc Themba are credited with being Namibia’s first gay married couple. The pair tied the knot in South Africa and returned to Namibia to become prominent LGBT rights campaigners.
The country has not enacted any specific law against homosexuality.
Last year, Out-Right Namibia (ORN), a gay and lesbian rights group accused government of claiming that homosexuality is illegal in the country.
ORN argued that the constitution is very clear and there is nothing that explicitly states that being gay is illegal.
Nkrumah Mushelenga, the Commissioner for Refugees in Namibia, said last year that Ugandan gays would not be allowed to apply for refugee status in Namibia.
When ten Ugandan gays arrived late last year in Namibia seeking asylum, five were deported, four went into hiding and one has been detained in Walvis Bay prison for over a year.
They were seeking refugee status, citing the persecution of gays in their country.
Even politicians are known to fight homosexuality in Namibia.
A Democratic Christian Voice (C) leader, a political party that failed to secure seats in Parliament in the November 2014 vote, said that if it came to power it would throw gays into prison until they repented.
The Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) founder Epafras Mukwiilongo, a party which also failed to win any seats in parliament, said that homosexuality is being imposed on Namibia by imperialists, and that it is an evil and foreign practice.
In 2005, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Teopolina Mushelenga, claimed that lesbians and gay men betrayed the fight for Namibian freedom and that they were responsible for the HIVAIDS pandemic.
Home Affairs Minister Jerry Ekandjo in 2000 urged 700 newly graduated police officers to “eliminate” gays and lesbians “from the face of Namibia”.
SOURCE: AFRICA REVIEW