Nanso defectors establish new student body

19 Sep 2019 17:40pm
WINDHOEK, 19 SEP (NAMPA) – A new student body has been established and it will be called the Students’ Union of Namibia (SUN), seeking to “decolonise the education system, realise free quality tertiary education and unite all students”.
The new student organisation was formed by student leaders and their sympathisers who defected from the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso), claiming that the oldest student body which was established in 1994, has lost direction to the point of being “toothless and useless”.
“It is unacceptable that we are fighting for the same things every year. It is time that we as students set a collective student agenda,” SUN’s secretary-general Inna Hengari said at the launch on Thursday.
Hengari said among their immediate objectives is to ensure that students get their non-tuition fees from the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) at the beginning of the academic year.
She also said it is time for Namibian students “to speak truth to power without prejudice, fear or favour”.
“Our objective is to fight for a free, decolonised quality education for all. We will be championing and defending the interests of the student. We are radical, militant and full stop,” she said.
Simon Amunime, a former Nanso National Executive Committee (NEC) member is the new movement’s president.
“We refused to be reduced to zombies and good for nothing youth who are only invited to sing at politicians’ birthday parties. We refused to be given black suits and ties just to be invited to boardrooms, to be given expensive wines and to dine with politicians just to feel important. We are about students and their well-being,” Amunime said.
Amunime will be deputised by Benhard Kavau who was Nanso’s vice president until his resignation last week.
Delivering a message on behalf of the All African Students Union (AASU), its secretary-general for the Southern Region, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma cautioned SUN against political interference.
“We will not tolerate any political interference in student affairs. Grow in the spirit of unity of purpose to achieve the mandate of students,” Nauyoma said.
Although this could not be independently verified, the group claimed that it has 9 000 members.
They also vowed to remain “independent and free from external influence” and intends to generate revenue for its operations through membership contributions.
Students at tertiary institutions will be required to pay an annual contribution of N.dollars 10 while those still in school will pay N.dollars 5.