Nanso defectors establish new student body

A new student body has been established and it will be called the Students' Union of Namibia (SUN) which seeks to through its cardinal pillars 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 Namibian National Students Organisation (Nanso), amid claims that the oldest student body which was established in 1994 has lost direction which has rendered it toothless and useless.

Speaking the launch of SUN in the capital on Thursday, its Secretary-General Inna Hengari said the face of student politics on the local scene will never be the same again.

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, she told the crowd.

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 begging of the academic year.

She added that it is time for Namibian students to speak truth to power without prejudice, fear or favour.

For far too long, we had been denied an opportunity to speak up. Our objective is to fight for a free, decolonised quality education for all. We will be championing and defending the interests of the student, she said.

The group vowed not to compromise on their principles.

We are radical, militant and full stop, the elated Hangari chanted.

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 back suits and ties 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 wellbeing, 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.

It cannot be right that there is constant political interference in student affairs. We will not tolerate any political interference in student affairs. Grow in the spirit of unity of purpose achieve the mandate of students, Nauyoma said.

Although this could not be independently verified, the group claimed that it already registered around 9000 students across the country at various tertiary, secondary and primary education institutions.

The idea to form the student union has been brewing for the last 24 months.

The group claimed that it is independent of any 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 (secondary and primary) will pay N.dollars 5.

Source: Namibia Press Agency