Nanso leadership boots president, education secretary from meeting

28 May 2019 09:30am
WINDHOEK, 28 MAY (NAMPA) – The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) leadership and student representatives from local higher learning institutions removed Nanso president Ester Simon and national secretary for education, training and research, Efraim Paulus from a meeting on Monday.
This happened at a media briefing in the capital, when Simon was forcefully removed from the event by a faction led by the organisation’s vice president, Bernard Kavau.
The briefing was intended to announce a peaceful demonstration against the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation and Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund in connection with the funding problems of tertiary students.
The altercation comes a fortnight after former Nanso leader and All People’s Party (APP) president Ignatius Shixwameni called on the student body to revert to its former self and put student wishes and aspirations at the core of its activities.
The national spokesperson, Tyson Hihanguapo, along with the chairperson, Simon Amunime and other members of the organisation aggressively repeated that Simon and Paulus “were at State House alone and brought back no solution for the students, yet sat around the table with President Hage Geingob”.
“SRCs (student representative councils) in the newspaper have called for the president of Nanso to step down due to differences and I believe the Nanso president no longer represents students’ interests and with that… we believe that before we start with the event, the president of Nanso is warmly welcomed here,” Hihanguapo announced before the briefing formally began.
Earlier this month, various SRCs have called on Simon to vacate her role as she “cannot serve two masters - Geingob and the students”. Simon was appointed to the High Level Panel on the Namibian Economy by Geingob last month, which was welcomed by Nanso at the time.
Hihanguapo later called on Paulus and Simon, insisting the two are “excused” from the meeting.
Both Simon and Paulus refused to leave and questioned whether the opposing group had the interests of students at heart when causing the commotion.
Hihanguapo responded repeatedly: “We do not want puppets here, can you please go out,” as Amunime removed the table in front of Paulus.
Eventually, Simon walked out and Paulus followed.
An irate Simon afterwards said the politics within Nanso should never be at the cost of the students.
“We need to have unity of purpose where we put aside our personal differences and work together in the interest of students,” she said.