Mbumba mum on ‘Ekandjo Bills’

WINDHOEK: 08 JUL (NAMPA) – President Nangolo Mbumba has said he is keeping mum on his decision on the two anti-gay private member bills brought by former minister Jerry Ekandjo, which are awaiting his signature.

The ‘Ekandjo Bills’ are the ‘Definition of Spouses Bill’ and the ‘Marriage Amendment Bill’, both passed by Parliament in 2023 but not yet signed by the president.

The bills address same-sex marriage, following a Supreme Court judgment in May 2023 for the recognition of same-sex marriages contracted outside Namibia.

Mbumba in response to a courtesy visit by the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) on Friday who touched on same-sex marriage, said ‘I cannot comment on it because I have arrows coming from the right and arrows from the left. This one is saying do this, the other one is saying don’t do this, I am keeping mum because any step I take I am getting deeper in trouble.’

The Head of State however said Namibians should be honest with themselves about humanity, spirituality, history, and what ha
s been read whether from the bible or any other book of writings.

‘We cannot create another world, this is the world. This humanity is the way we were made and we can improve it, but we can also destroy it,’ he said.

CCN executive committee chairperson, Heinz Mouton said the council of church leaders meeting scheduled for next week will discuss the matter in-depth and will give a response on its position on the matter.

‘CCN is aware that His Excellency is faced with the challenge of signing the two bills,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security, Albert Kawana while motivating the Marriage Bill in the National Assembly on 03 July 2024, stated that Namibia will not recognise same-sex marriages as the country’s values, traditions, and customs are anchored in Christianity.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) activist Linda Baumann on Monday said it is important to allow the president to consult and explore the diverse advice he
is getting from his counterparts.

The president represents all Namibians and is doing due diligence before he presents his position, she said.

‘We should not force him to pronounce himself just because he is politically affiliated to a particular political party. I think let’s allow him with due course, I believe he will pronounce himself once he has made a sound decision on the principles of the constitution that we believe in,’ Baumann said.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency