NANSO elects new leadership

By Maria Hamutenya

THE Namibia National Students Organisation (NANSO) elected former secretary-general Simon Taapopi as their new president over the weekend in Otjiwarongo. NANSO is a student organisation formed in 1984 to advocate for educational reforms to benefit Namibian students.

The election was held during the organisation’s recent congress, which elected a new national executive committee to lead for the next two years. The new members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of NANSO were elected at a three-day elective congress in Otjiwarongo that started on Friday and ended Sunday.

Simon Taapopi will be deputised by Gregory Madi, while the secretary-general position will be held by Efraim Paulus, with Zabrina Ludwig as his deputy. Taapopi said his agenda as NANSO president would be informed by the norms, values and beliefs of the organisation.

“As leaders, we are going to work to ensure that all in the structures will be handed performance agreements; these agreements will be informed by short term strategic plans that will be submitted by regional chairpersons and secretaries,” Taapopi said.

The national executive is now made up of 15 members after the new portfolio of legal secretary was adopted by the congress, who will deal with the legal issues of the organisation.

Taapopi added that he will continue to add modalities on how to make the organisation more functional which is what the former president did. “I will further engage regional chairpersons more and ensure that they too have a say in what is done nationally.”

He said NANSO’s vision and goals cannot be achieved in isolation. “We will work with legitimate bodies who are clear in their agenda and who put the students and learners first,” Taapopi promised.

He further dismissed allegations that the body is affiliated to any political parties, adding that the organisation has always been apolitical and is not part of any party. “No NANSO leader will be barred from engaging in political activities outside of NANSO, however when entering the ideological boundaries and activities of NANSO, such will not be tolerated,” Taapopi said.

He said the rifts and factions in NANSO were something of the past and that the newly elected leadership is trustworthy and would take the student movement forward.