AR activist alleges victimisation in SRC elections

• By Tracy Tafirenyika

AFFIRMATIVE Repositioning (AR) student activist, Sackaria Elago has called on the recently held Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) Student representative Council (SRC) elections be declared null and void stating Nust decampaigned against him on fear he was an AR member and saw him a threat to the institution’s stability.

Elago rubbished allegations his SRC campaign was bankrolled by AR saying he lost the SRC elections because Nust was afraid if he wins, would lead students to protest.

“I am guessing that Nust management is saying I was sponsored by AR because they were already using those decampaigning strategies to discredit my campaign. They were saying l am an activist of AR so if l win l will cause the students to protest. There is no such a thing l sponsored my own campaign and AR did not sponsor me,” he said.

AR founder and spokesperson, George Kambala exclusively told Confidente the movement was not involved in campaigning for students during the SRC elections that took place last month.

This comes after sources within the institution told Confidente the party had spent close to N$12 000 to sponsor campaigns of students running for SRC at the University of Namibia (Unam), Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) and IUM which is against the institutions’ rules and regulations.

“It was one of our activistswho was running for a position in the Nust SRC elections and AR was not involved in that. There was no influence on that and it was just our activist,” Kambala said.

However Confidente understand that the AR’s student activist, Elago has sent a letter to the institution’s management calling for the SRC result to be declared null and the elections be declared not free or fair.

“In accordance with the SRC constitution in addendum 111, section 8 (3), l hereby register a protest of the general SRC elections held on October 17-21, on behalf of myself and seven additional candidates who have requested that their names be withheld for fear of victimisation. We reject the purported election outcome with contempt because the entire election process was neither free nor fair.

“As a result of the aforementioned events we can conclude that the 2022 SRC elections were neither free nor fair. As a result we demand that the SRC general election be declared null and void and that re-elections be held as soon as possible. Independent student bodies should facilitate the requested re-elections because you have demonstrated your incompetence and inability to conduct free and fair elections,” he stated.

The letter furthermore stated that, “It is unfortunate that that you have used your positions to conspire with a group of SRC candidates to undermine the rule of law and Nust students’ rights. However as upstanding university students we pledge to prevent Nust from becoming a breeding ground for future criminals and corrupt leaders,” the letter reads.

In their response, Nust communication officer Nadia Meding confirmed Nust was aware of the case.

“NUST can confirm that a single student has challenged the outcome of the student elections. In line with the Student Representative Council Constitution, a tribunal has been constituted to evaluate the merits of the allegations.

“We have received no official complaints regarding students having affiliations with external political parties. However, should that be the case, the Namibian constitution makes freedom of Association a fundamental right. We trust that our students run for leadership positions in the best interest of representing their student communities. We value and welcome both fair competition and justified appeal because these offers students great personal and professional growth that they can use for years to come. We thus have full confidence that the outcome of the hearing will resolve any complains after a fair process,” Meding said.