UNAM Pohamba campus students threaten to protest

18 Oct 2016 19:00pm
ONGWEDIVA, 18 OCT (NAMPA) – Students at the University of Namibia (UNAM) Hifikepunye Pohamba (HP) Campus have threatened to strike in support of their fellows who have been barred from writing examinations because they owe the institution money.
Tearing up examination timetables during a peaceful gathering at the campus on Tuesday, the about 80 students told Nampa that those who owe money should be allowed to enter the exam venues without their timetables.
The latest sit-in in Ongwediva comes after hundreds of students on Monday held a peaceful demonstration at the main campus in Windhoek, demanding that students with outstanding debt be treated as in the years before when they wrote their examinations but had their results withheld until they paid.
This year, however, they are expected to settle their debt or enter into a settlement agreement with the university before being allowed to write, which would be confirmed by a stamp on the students’ timetables, hence them rejecting the timetables.
HP Campus Student Representative Council (SRC) Vice-President, Pertus Shiweva demanded that all students be allowed to write their exams while they settle their debt or they will also hold a demonstration come Thursday.
“If UNAM does not allow all students to write their exams, then we are also giving them two days to refund us so that we can be able to pay for our fellows who still owe them money, or we will sabotage all other exams scheduled to be written,” warned Shiweva.
Second-year student Johannes Uushona, who has settled his student account, is upset that his fellow classmates who still owe UNAM money will be prevented from writing exams. He said this pains him very much and he feels like postponing all his papers until his classmates write theirs too.
“UNAM even owes me money, however you will never hear them announcing how much they owe students, just the opposite. They should therefore learn to consult students on certain issues and also be patient; the same way we have been,” said an upset Uushona.
Another student, third-year Rindivina Niingo said she had settled over 95 per cent of her tuition fees but she still could not get a stamp of approval on her timetable to write her exams because according to the Student Administration, she needs to settle 50 per cent of the outstanding amount.
UNAM Oshakati Campus SRC Vice-President, Willem Kanyondi told Nampa there was no point in demonstrating again since the issue had already been brought to management’s attention.
A media statement issued by UNAM on Tuesday said exams across all campuses that were postponed had been rescheduled and the new dates would be announced in due course.