|Opposition silent on rights of sex-workers|
|Written by Clemans Miyanicwe|
|Wednesday, 25 July 2012 21:36|
The Executive Director of Rights not Rescue, the largest sex-workers’ organisation in Namibia, Nicodemus ‘Mama Africa’ Aochamub, has come out with guns blazing against the country’s opposition parties for not considering the human rights of sex-workers.Aochamub, who leads an organisation representing more than 1 000 sex workers nationwide, told Informanté that, “Sex workers are being discriminated against more by the opposition parties than SWAPO.” Aochamub said that during elections opposition parties moan about human rights in Namibia, but afterwards the issue becomes dormant.
Aochamub wants to know why and for how long should the opposition parties blame the SWAPO party as the main culprit, while the opposition is turning a blind eye to the basic rights of sex workers. “SWAPO is better on tackling issues of human rights than the opposition parties, who are masters in manipulating human rights of sex-workers,” he claimed.
The Director of Rights not Rescue, singled out the DTA for criticism, but also lashed out at other opposition parties. DTA’s Philemon Moongo called for “zero sex workers” in Namibia by 2030, during a discussion in parliament earlier this year, but Aochamub anticipates that this may lead to “zero opposition parties” by 2030.
According to Aochamub opposition parties in Namibia are ‘agents of silence’ on human-rights. Opposition parties should uphold the principal of fundamental human rights; instead they play hide-and-seek when it comes to the rights of the minorities, claimed Aochamub. He believes that they must carry the flame of human rights, instead of shouting at the top of the lungs to criminalise sex-work.
Aochamub claims that “Sex-workers will not support former oppressors, like the DTA during elections, but will go for SWAPO, which they believe is more outspoken for their rights.”
The sex workers’ organisation plans to have meetings with parliamentarians in the near future to discuss issues of common concern, such as the alarmingly high HIV-rate, mounting gender-based violence and the need to decriminalise sex-work.
Clemans Miyanicwe is a freelance community reporter