8 March 2012

Namibia: Mr Gay Namibia Denies New Party Link

Photo: Wendelinus Hamutenya/Facebook
Mr Gay Namibia Wendelinus Hamutenya

"I AM not a hibernator in the RDP [Rally for Democracy and Progress]. I am a true RDP," fumed Wendelinus Linus Hamutenya.

Speaking to The Namibian after political chameleon Joseph Kauandenge claimed that he had joined his newly formed People's Democratic Movement (PDM), Hamutenya of Tuesday said he is still a member of the RDP, and has no intention to leave his "home party", vowing to "die in RDP".

Kauandenge has reportedly approached an assortment of members from other parties whom he thought could bolster the image of the PDM, a party presumably formed for young people.

Hamutenya, the reigning Mr Gay Namibia, feels that Kauandenge wants to use his title to attract the youth.

Hamutenya said he was first approached by Kauandenge with the proposal to join the PDM on Facebook. The two met on February 11 where Kauandenge again asked him to join the new party, offering him the position of secretary general.

"He asked me if I would like to go to Parliament. He said if the PDM goes to Parliament it would only be the president [Kauandenge] and the secretary general [Hamutenya] that will get there," said Hamutenya. "I did not accept his offer; I did not sign anything with him."

Kauandenge apparently still pressed on by requesting a picture of Hamutenya, which Hamutenya said was to be used on a flyer of the PDM. And again he refused to acquiesce.

"I do not entertain any notion to leave the RDP. I did not take out any membership of any other political organisation," insisted Hamutenya.

He made a stern request to other RDP youth to "remain vigilant and stay the course and unite".

"And to my family I would again like to say that I did not leave the RDP," said Hamutenya who was swamped by calls and SMSes to explain his alleged move.

And of Kauandenge, he said: "If he continues with this, I will sue him for misrepresentation. He must tender a public apology."

Before issuing a press release on the leadership of the PDM, Kauandenge had sent a number of SMSs to Hamutenya in which he asked for an urgent meeting to make sure that Hamutenya signed an application form of the PDM.

After the media ran the press release, Kauandenge SMSed Hamutenya saying: "We must talk about the story in the newspaper today [Monday] about the position as secretary general. Please phone me back."

Hamutenya said he did not reply.

"I knew this was going to happen," said Kauandenge when asked about Hamutenya's denial. "He has joined the party. I can prove that from SMSes and Facebook that this is the case... unless people in the RDP has threatened him."

Hamutenya laughed at Kauandenge's assertion.

On February 9 Hamutenya sent a message on Facebook to Kauandenge in which he said, amongst other things: "... you have my support on your new party and if you need also people to mobilise or in the parties list I will be pleased to represent LGBT [lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-gender] in the activities you want me to do and I'm sure thousand of young gays and non-gays those I know and those I don't know will support your party at large as we want also gay to MP so our voices are heard."

Kauandenge said since the Facebook message, they have had numerous meetings as leaders of the new party.

"There is no way that I will put a person's name in a public domain without consent. Linus did not sign the application form, but he forgot what he put on Facebook," said Kauandenge.

Hamutenya said he wrote the Facebook message only to say that he supports the formation of the new party, but not to be part of it.

Libolly Haufiku of the RDP confirmed that Alfred Swartz has in fact resigned from the RDP.

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