Members pull out

The Nanso constitution does not prevent any member from participating in political activities.

20 September 2019 | Labour

Namibia National Students' Organisation (Nanso) president Ester Simon says she will not be intimidated by the “small political circus” currently engulfing the student body. Vice-president Bernard Kavau, national spokesperson Tyson Hihanguapo, chairperson Simon Amunime and Khomas regional secretary Epaphras Ngolo publicly tendered their resignations from Nanso at a media conference on Monday.

The four members were suspended in July on charges of subordination and bringing the organisation's name into dispute. They delivered some searing parting shots, saying Nanso had been reduced to a “singing choir of politicians and a propaganda machinery against the students of Namibia”.

Simon responded to the allegations by saying that the Nanso constitution does not prevent any member from participating in political activities.

She added that she was not intimidated by the “small political circus”. She reiterated that the student organisation is apolitical and caters for students from all political parties.

“When someone resigns, they cease to exist, so we do not count them,” Simon said, adding that the remaining members of the national executive committee still constituted a quorum.

According to Kavau, a disciplinary hearing that was scheduled to take place on 7 August has still not taken place “due to the lack of evidence and illegitimacy”.

“It is sad to witness that the organisation has been reduced to a singing choir of politicians and a propaganda machine against the students of Namibia,” stated Kavau. With reference to a video clip of Simon and Nanso secretary-general Simon Taapopi dressed in Swapo attire at a political event, Kavau and the others decided to distance themselves from the “politically captured” organisation.

“They are using the student body to gain positions in government as well as to be given various tenders at the expense of students and we refuse to be part of such activity,” said Amunime.

“It is time that we divert our energy to something else that is going to benefit students,” he said.

“So far we have not received any resignation letters. We have learned [about it] through media statements,” said Taapopi. He stressed that members have the right to resign from the organisation but should communicate with the organisation through the secretary-general.

“If you see me at an RDP rally or wearing an RDP shirt; I am not representing Nanso,” Taapopi said.

Referring to the video clip of himself and the Nanso president at a Swapo function, where they were introduced as Nanso representatives, he said that was an error as he was not representing the organisation at the event, but was there in his personal capacity.


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