|Phil and the gay stalker|
|Written by Augetto Graig|
|Wednesday, 13 June 2012 22:33|
Prominent Namibian human rights champion Phil ya Nangolo has become embroiled in a public argument with Out-Right Namibia, goaded by an offended gay and lesbian community after publicly reprimanding SMS advances from a gay man that he found reprehensible.
In a letter published in the Informanté on 13 June, ya Nangolo wrote that, “as a human rights defender who has over the years campaigned for … true gender equality, including the rights of homosexuals to be treated equally and be tolerated by society, I have never imagined that I would one day become a victim of what I may call sexual harassment from a certain Mike Nghinamhito, whom I suspect of being a homosexual.” According to ya Nangolo, Nghinamhito sent him text messages professing his love in July last year, beginning a sequence of rejections that culminated on Thursday May 31 in Phil asking the police to phone Nghinamhito to get him to stop. “I thank Lt-General Ndeitunga for this,” ya Nangolo later wrote. Out-Right has since issued a press statement in response, berating the Executive Director of NamRights for the content of his letter, calling the remarks “insulting to LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transsexual and Intersexual) Namibians.” Out-Right’s Linda Baumann wrote that, “the alleged behavior of the alleged harasser is not exclusive to LGBTI people. It is in fact a psychological/mental condition that can affect anyone. Why highlight that the alleged harasser is gay?” she asked. Informanté has received an Oshiwambo language SMS apology, forwarded by ya Nangolo who said he received it from Nghinamhito. Loosely translated the SMS reads, “Mr Phil, I am very sorry sir for the SMS that I sent you, please forgive me, I got a call from Me Beate from Eenhana. Now I am not going to do it again. Please be with peace in Jesus. I won’t do it again.” One person named Mike Nghinamhito however approached Informanté this week to say that someone is mis-using his name and that he is not the person who sent the messages to ya Nangolo. When trying to contact Mike on the number that he left, Informanté was met with a wall of confusion, misunderstanding and uncertain as to the identity of the speaker at the other end, who first identified himself as Mike and later as Fessy.