SWAPO members have closed the gates of the Haihambo Primary School after calls to denounce Hidipo Hamutenya as patron had fallen on deaf ears.
Reports from Omutwewomunhu village in Epembe Constituency in the Ohangwena Region yesterday indicated that the ruling party members had locked the main gate of the school with six locks.
The group reportedly said they were not happy that the school management allowed the president of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) to be the school's patron.
Hamutenya was named as patron earlier this year, a move that was not accepted by some Swapo members and their leaders in the constituency.
Shortly after the announcement Hamutenya made a generous donation to the school. According to the RDP secretary in Ohangwena Region, Timotheus Shikongo, the Swapo members put up a tent in front of the school's main gate to block anyone trying to enter.
They allegedly said there would be no classes during this school term if Hamutenya is not withdrawn as patron.
The school was expected to reopen for the third term this morning.
According to Shikongo, the governor of Ohangwena Region, Usko Nghaamwa, telephoned the regional director of education, Saneth Steenkamp, on Monday evening to inform her of the decision by Swapo members at Omutwewomunhu.
Steenkamp said she had heard about the school's closure from the inspector of Ohakafiya Circuit, Walter Ndakondja, and from Governor Nghaamwa, but did not know much about the incident.
She referred all questions to Ohangwena Chief Regional Officer Daniel Kashikola, who said he was told by the police that the school had been closed.
Kashikola said he could not confirm that it was Swapo members who closed the school, but was told it was parents.
He said the police were sent to deal with the situation and he was still waiting for a report from them by yesterday afternoon.
Approached for comment, Epembe Constituency councillor Johannes Nakwafila said the school closure was news to him, but he knew that parents were unhappy with the school management.
He said the school management was asked to confirm that they want Hamutenya to remain patron and whether they wanted to keep the donations he had made.
Nakwafila said the school management ignored the request and that angered the parents.
Sources said the principal and teachers, who were supposed to start working yesterday, could not enter the school premises.
Early this year, Hamutenya donated fencing material, a water tank and N$10 000 to the school.
This angered Swapo leaders and some Swapo party members in Epembe Constituency and they demanded that the donations be refused.
Many Swapo leaders have had schools named after them.
A school near Okalongo in the Omusati Region was recently named after Swapo secretary general Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana. There is also a Nahas Angula Junior Secondary School in the Oshikoto Region, a Chief Ankama Primary School in the Oshana Region and an Usko Nghaamwa Special School in the Ohangwena Region.