The newly formed Landless People’s Movement Student Command Element has launched a scurrile attack on higher education minister Itah Kandjii-Murangi for failing to turn around the student fund (NSFAF).
This is in spite of the fact that the higher education minister has inaugurated a new board that is set to hit the ground running to restore the tarnished image of the beleaguered institution.
The student body, an alternative to the National Association of Namibian Students Organisation (Nanso) has rather laid a greater part of blame on government in an emotionally charged statement made available to The Villager.
“Those who are at the apex of the leadership avenues are just followers; emptied of thought and suffering from permanent brain damage. They all belong in a mental hospital, starting with the minister of higher education down to the CEO and board members,” read the statement.
It also said, “The lack of funding for NSFAF and the subsequent lack of political will to urgently rekindle the institution to provide loans smoothly to our poor students of the working and taxpaying people of this country, demonstrates the fundamental shift of the gate-keeping state toward a total onslaught on the people of Namibia and the future of this nation.”
The collapse of NSFAF signifies that government has not placed the future of this country as central to the economic development quest, said the movement.
Despite a recovery of N$70 million with the aid of a foreign and locally based debt collecting company, LPM Student Command still holds that the institution is on a downward spiral.
“That today students are made to suffer in this manner, tells us all of the insatiable corruption and nepotism of the leaders of this country, who have become self serving. We have noted over the past year the steady deterioration of the institutional set-up and the financial situation of NSFAF. We have also witnessed investments made by NSFAF in for example the ill-conceived construction of its head office, where about N$100miliion was spent,” it said.
It has further scoffed at the appointment of the new and previous boards as based on cronyism which “has added to the sharp and uncontrolled collapse of this important institution”.
“Take note that all the elite children are enrolled at foreign universities in Europe, China and the USA, and thus, the pain and a trigeminal of the working parents and their children is not of relevance to the corrupt state empire,” it further rapped.
Paul Thomas who told this publication that leads the movement at its Triumphant college branch said instead of appointing a new board, the NSFAF CEO, Hilya Nghiwete should have been fired.
He has also attacked government for giving the institution an additional fund saying this is tantamount to throwing money at the problem without getting down to its root.
Reached by this publication to respond to the allegations, Kandjii-Murangi insisted that emailed questions be sent to her office for a more elaborate answer.
“I am not in a position to say anything now really, you called me while I am in the middle of something. If you have anything that you want me to respond to I think you better put it in writing and you forward it to the ministry’s public relations officer and we will be in a position to handle that accordingly,” she said.