Internal Affairs

Namibia: 16 June Confusion

Summary

LEADERS of the Namibia National Students’ Organisation are at each other’s throats again. This time, they are fighting over whether the organisation should support tomorrow’s demonstration organised by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement. The organisation issued two statements yesterday, sending […]

LEADERS of the Namibia National Students’ Organisation are at each other’s throats again. This time, they are fighting over whether the organisation should support tomorrow’s demonstration organised by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement.

The organisation issued two statements yesterday, sending conflicting messages to their members.

One statement was released by Nanso president Wilhelm Wilhelm, who is in support of the demo, while Nanso’s national executive committee member Herman Rutz said the organisation’s name should not be dragged into politics.

AR has organised a demonstration for tomorrow over the building of a new parliament. Attempts to block the march by the police proved futile.

Claiming that he was speaking on behalf of the executive committee which held a meeting on Wednesday last week, Rutz said the perception created that Nanso has decided to formally join the AR movement in its campaign against the construction of a new parliament is not correct.

“That guy (Wilhelm) is being victimised. He made so many promises to people to use Nanso for their political agendas. Wilhelm is not Nanso. He must understand that Nanso is a student organisation with structures, and those structures must be respected by all members. He does not have the power to go against a national executive committee resolution,” Rutz stated, adding that the national executive committee consists of 14 members elected at congress to run the organisation.

He added that the student body wishes to reiterate its independence as an organisation, and has requested all its structures and members not to join nor take part in the demonstration or any AR activities on behalf of Nanso.

“We do not have any memorandum of understanding or any working relationship with the AR movement. The position of AR must not and cannot be construed to be that of Nanso,” he reiterated.

But that’s in sharp contrast to what Wilhelm and Nanso secretary general Dimbulukeni Nauyoma said yesterday.

“Inspired, guided and motivated by the vigilance and militancy of the Namibian youth, and by the zeal and determination of the toiling youth, we the student leaders, on behalf of our members, have resolved to join thousands of Namibians to participate in the mass action,” Wilhelm said.

He argued that hostels at schools are insufficient and even dilapidated, leaving Nanso members with no choice but to sleep in tents and other informal structures.

“We did this, being mindful of the dire consequences. But our conscience never walked away from us because we remain resolute in our support to the struggle of the landless, because these are the parents of our members. We are landless together with our parents,” Wilhelm said.

He is being supported by Nauyoma, who doubles as an AR leader.

Nauyoma questioned whether Rutz thinks they own the student organisation.

He said Nanso officially has only three offices with the authority to issue statements – that of the president, secretary general and the secretary for information.

“As far as we are concerned, there is only one press statement issued constitutionally. There are personal emotions on this issue. Why is he high on his horse and talking about MoUs which are not there?” Nauyoma asked.

Rutz countered that the NEC resolved that those in the leadership of Nanso who happen to be in the leadership of any other organisation must separate their roles, and work in the interest of Nanso first.

 

Source:   The Namibian