The Namibian (Windhoek)

29 November 2012

Namibia: Nanso, SPYL Clashes Come Out in Open

THE relationship between Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) and the Swapo Party Youth League has soured after the student body rejected most of the youth league’s recent proposals.

Nanso said in a statement yesterday that the call by the SPYL to review the relationship between the student body and the Ministry of Education should be rejected.

Elijah Ngurare, the SPYL secretary, last Thursday expressed their unhappiness with the student body.

“It has come to our attention that Nanso no longer stands for the aspirations and interests of students but hijacked by political expediency of some Nanso leaders. To this effect, we call on the Ministry of Education to review its relationship with Nanso,” Ngurare said.

Nanso’s deputy secretary general, Kavetu Kavetu, said the relationship with the ministry remains important to the aspirations of students in Namibia, as they are aware that an organised student movement is necessary to ensure unity of purpose and action.

“Calls for any negative review of the relationship is a clear indication that SPYL no longer has the aspirations of any student in Namibia at heart, but are there to serve their own political expediency,” Kavetu hit back.

SPYL’s secretary of information, Job Amupanda, yesterday declined to explain why SPYL made the call.

The two youth organisations came head to head earlier this month after they differed over the teachers’ strike.

Initially the youth league and Nanso both criticised the teachers and called on them to return to classes. But a week later, Nanso released a statement in support of the striking teachers.

The two organisations also clashed over Nanso allegedly wanting to endorse a particular candidate for the Swapo vice presidency.

Sources say the SPYL argued that Nanso is not a Swapo-affiliated body and therefore could not interfere in Swapo matters.

The Nanso leadership is said to be divided on the issue of who the student body should announce as its preferred candidate.

Nanso is affiliated to the National Youth Council, an institution that came under fire from the youth league recently.

Nanso’s disagreement with the SPYL congress resolutions on the distribution of condoms at schools further showed the cracks between the two, which have been cooperating as sister organisations.

Kavetu said the suggestion to distribute condoms to schools was “immature” as it would promote sexual activity at schools.

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