Polytech transformation meeting at Oshakati fails

OSHAKATI: The consultative meeting on the transformation of the Polytechnic of Namibia into a university, which was supposed to take place at Oshakati on Tuesday, did not materialise as the invited participants did not show up.

Regional governors, councillors, members of the business community and other stakeholders from the northern regions of Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati and Oshikoto were the meeting’s targeted audience.

The meeting was scheduled to start at 09h00 and end at 16h00, and only Oshana Regional Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa and a member of the executive committee of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), Juliana Nepembe-Haimbodi showed up.

Kashuupulwa was supposed to be the main speaker and the chairperson of the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC), Sacky Shanghala, the meeting’s director of ceremonies.

Those who had shown up waited until 11h15, but to no avail.

Both Kashuupulwa and Shanghala told Nampa it is not clear why the targeted participants did not show up as invitations were sent out.

The meeting was organised by the LRDC and the Polytechnic of Namibia, and it was expected to discuss the envisaged transformation of the Polytechnic of Namibia into the Namibia University of Science and Technology.

Shanghala said the meeting was aimed at soliciting stakeholders’ input on the Polytechnic of Namibia’s transformation into a university.

“If I don’t come to consult tomorrow, don’t blame me. I don’t know why people have no interest and you cannot force them,” a disappointed Shanghala stated.

He pointed out that the turnout was satisfactory during similar meetings held in Windhoek and Keetmanshoop, while the attendance at Walvis Bay in the Erongo Region was poor.

The Polytechnic of Namibia has received approval from government to transform into the Namibia University of Science and Technology, and the transformation process is to be guided by the enactment of a new Act.

The LRDC was approached to facilitate the reform process, draft the new legislation and engage stakeholders.

The next consultative meeting is to take place at Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region on Wednesday.