Wendelinus Hamutenya

Wendelinus Hamutenya

Controversial former Mr Gay Namibia Wendelinus Hamutenya says that he intends to become Namibia’s first openly gay parliamentarian

Hamutenya told Gay Star News that he is aiming to be placed on the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) party’s parliamentary election list at its national convention next month.

“I want to be the voice of all the people. I don’t want Namibians to look at me as a homosexual but as a human being who is capable to lead like anyone else,” said Hamutenya.

According to the report, the former personal financial consultant is part of RDP’s central committee and will also represent the party’s youth league at the national convention.

“I will still speak up for gay rights as politics will never discourage me to do so,” he said.

Hamutenya has been embroiled in controversy since he was crowned the first Mr Gay Namibia in November 2011. Two weeks later he made more headlines after he was beaten in an attack near his home by two men who demanded his prize money.

Hamutenya went on to compete in the Mr Gay World competition in Johannesburg in April 2012, but in November of that year, just days before the end of his reign, he was stripped of his title; allegedly over “unbecoming conduct”.

While Mr Gay Namibia organisers declined to specify what led to Hamutenya being ousted, The Namibian reported at the time that it could have been related to “a domestic violence case pending against him in Johannesburg, South Africa”.

Hamutenya admitted that he had been involved in a domestic violence case but said that it had been withdrawn.

Earlier this year, he caused a furore when it was reported that he feared for his life for allegedly authoring a list ‘outing’ prominent gay Namibians.

Hamutenya, in an opinion piece in The Villager newspaper, said he wanted to encourage public debate on the issue by ‘naming and shaming’ high-ranking officials he said were gay. The newspaper refused to publish the list but it was leaked online.

Out-Right Namibia condemned Hamutenya’s actions, saying that individuals who chose not to declare their sexual orientation for fear of discrimination should not be outed.

In July, Hamutenya was involved in a court case over charges that he damaged a digital recorder belonging to a former work colleague. Hamutenya claimed that the recorder was damaged when the other man attempted to hit him with the device after the former title holder charged him with sexual harassment.

Hamutenya’s bid to be elected as a Windhoek municipal councillor failed in 2009.

Consensual “sodomy” is illegal in Namibia and could be used to prosecute gay men, although this is not believed to have happened since the country’s independence in 1990.


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