Gay bashing freedom fighters

22 August 2014 Author  

front neff 22 augTHE Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) this week reiterated that they had no affiliation to Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with whom they share a striking resemblance. Members of the party came to their press conference on Thursday this week clad from head to toe in red overalls and berets with their party crest of a fist on the African continent emblazoned on their attire, much like South Africa’s EFF.

However, the NEFF leadership insisted that they merely shared the same ideologies as their South African counterparts.

The NEFF leaders were speaking at the official launch of their political party after the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) provisionally approved their application for registration as a political party.

The party is under the leadership of businessman Epafras Mukwiilongo.

The launch of the party started badly with only a handful of party members hovering outside their head offices, 20 minutes after they had scheduled to start the event.

It later became apparent that they were waiting for more members to arrive, but to no avail.

Three individuals, two of whom one can only assume were placeholders pulled in from the street because they reeked of alcohol, were taken to a back room where they were handed NEFF t-shirts.

“We are here to answer the questions that people currently ask about the NEFF, including why we started a new political party when there are so many in Namibia?

“Why we chose economic emancipation as our goal and why we did not succeed in other political parties?” Werner January a member of the party leadership read from a statement.

“We chose economic emancipation for all Namibians as our ultimate goals because we believe that our people deserve to enjoy the benefits of their mineral resources and the fruits from their land,” he said.

January, who also serves as the controversial leader of the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU), earlier this year threatened that taxi drivers would launch a ‘non-peaceful’ strike if the country’s parliament did not meet their demands.

He denied that they were failures in their former political parties and claimed that they decided to leave those parties because the leaders did not have the Namibian peoples’ interests at heart.

The NEFF also accused the Swapo party of losing focus of some its goals such as building the nation. The party said Swapo had become ‘small capitalists’, whereas they are socialists.

In 2010, a local daily newspaper reported that the Congress of Democrats (CoD) suspended NEFF leader Kalimbo Iipumbu who was then leader of the CoD youth wing.

The CoD accused Iipumbu of not accounting for funds received from the National Youth Council.

Party president Mukwiilongo owns the Mokasa business outlets at Oshakati and Oshikuku.

The party’s so-called ‘anti-capitalist’ therefore seems slightly incongruous, and in some people’s eyes might cast doubts on their claim of wanting to emancipate Namibia from economic oppression.

The NEFF leaders took turns to brand the country’s leaders as self-serving homosexuals as Mukwiilongo watched, saying no more than five words throughout the event.

The party claimed to have a list of gay leaders whom they would expose eventually because their sexual orientation would apparently turn Namibia into a Western imperialist country by 2030.

They said the media had misconstrued their message claiming that they are not homophobic and would allow homosexuals to join the party as members, but not as leaders.

“We have nothing against homosexuals, and we understand that some people are born like that,” one of the leaders said.

NEFF Commissar of Communication Osleen Kahiriri also lashed out at homosexuals.

“Western imperialists come to Namibia and buy off our leaders because they are doing this evil (being homosexual),” he said.

Not content with that, he compared homosexuality to the fatal Ebola virus, and added that the country needed to contain it.

January said that in the beginning when they sought help to start their party those they approached turned them down because they had refused to become homosexuals.

In response to a question of how someone’s sexual preferences influenced their leadership skills, they said that in a country were more than half of the population is impoverished, impressionable people would choose to become gay in the hope that it would attract wealth.

They added that these gay leaders would also use their wealth and politicians to turn the young people towards homosexuality.

NEFF further accused the Swapo party of capitalising on the liberation struggle to remain in power.

“We all fought for the liberation of this nation although some of us were young, but even those of us who were here...We want to take back what belongs to the people,” Kahiriri said.

“You can’t ask Paulus Noah to investigate a case…He has his own agenda…People need to go to the polls to vote for change,” one of them added as they all scrambled to make their points.

The NEFF leadership stated that they were waiting for the Swapo Electoral College to end so they could welcome their comrades from within the party to join them, before they launched their manifesto.

They explained that these comrades were oppressed in the party and too afraid to speak out so they were waiting for the outcome of the Electoral College to make their move. – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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