Do Not Spy on Us – Job Warns UNAM

• By Kaipaherue Kandjii

UNAM’s senior lecturer, Dr Job Amupanda, says the institution’s decision to install cameras in lecture halls infringes the law.

Amupanda confirmed that he penned a letter to UNAM’s pro-vice-chancellor of academic affairs, Frednand Gideon, recently about the decision to instal cameras.

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“I cannot comment in detail on the matter, but I can confirm that I have taken up the matter of academic freedom, securitisation, and spying on academics with University leadership because students will not be free, and lecturers are also not free.

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“[The] colleagues came to me and said they are afraid of being victimised [if they raise the issue]. Whose relative got the tender if they want to police lecturers and students?

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” Amupanda asked.

Gideon, however, said he had not yet seen the letter, and neither was he aware of any plans to erect cameras in lecture halls.

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“I’ve not known or heard about it [the installation of cameras], but I’ve seen the security aspect around the campus has been tightened to avoid incidences [of crime] because students have been losing their items, but I have not seen a camera in a lecture hall, and I might not also have all the information,” Gideon said.

Draconian Cameras For Control

Amupanda said the decision is “draconian” and seeks to “monitor” and “control” academic lessons against freedom of expression.

Amupanda claimed that he wrote the letter on behalf of his aggrieved colleagues, whom he said approached him out of fear of being “victimised by weaponised managerial colleagues who seem to work more for management than their faculties”.

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He criticised the idea, saying it is a blatant abuse of their rights characterising the issue as a “securitisation on the constitutionally guaranteed right of academic freedom – the freedom to teach, practice, research, inquire and communicate thoughts and outcomes unhindered and without interference”.