The University of Namibia (Unam) has summoned former Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) information secretary, Charles Siyauya, for a disciplinary hearing over critical remarks he made against the French Government in an email sent to an official at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre (FNCC).
Siyauya, who works in the office of Unam Vice Chancellor, Lazarus Hangula as an administrator, confirmed to The Villager on Sunday that he has been summoned by the institution to attend a disciplinary hearing next week Thursday (3 November 2011).
Although he did not want to divulge more information on the charges, he confirmed that it has to do with the email he sent to FNCC’s Irmi Roder, where he strongly criticised France’s involvement in the toppling of the late Libyan ‘strong man’, Col. Muammar Gaddafi.
“It’s true that I have been summoned to attend a disciplinary hearing on the 3 November at the Unam main campus in Windhoek at 09h00 am. Apparently by sending that email, I put Unam’s name into disrepute and to them, it was a conflict of interest that I voiced my views,” said Siyauya who is currently in Katima Mulilo.
In the email to FNCC’s Irmi Roder, Siyauya wrote: “There is nothing good I can think of France and its Government apart from being a murderous state that is killing our brothers and sisters in Libya.
“I thought [the] French government had morals but all indications points (sic) to the opposite. Today you had breakfast and lunch and I wonder if Col. [Muammar] Gaddafi and other peace loving Africans in Libya had even a drop of water to drink. You should be thankful to our elders in the leadership of Namibia that your embassy is still having space in my motherland.
“If my generation were (sic) in power, your embassy, like that of the UK and the USA, deserve a one way ticket back home because you are not worth staying here. How can I shake your diplomatic hand which is dripping of African blood? Are you not ashamed of your Government’s foreign policy? However, be rest assured that our generation will do all that we (sic) can to make your stay in Africa and Namibia, in particular, a hell and I mean every sense of the word.”
Meanwhile, a fury of reactions to Unam’s decision to summon Siyauya came from his fellow youth league members and friends on Facebook who argued that the institution ought to have been at the forefront of condemning France’s involvement in Libya instead of prosecuting its own.
SPYL General Secretary, Eliah Ngurare, wrote in his comments that, “It is sad that Unam, which was supposed to be at the forefront condemning and analysing imperialist onslaught on the continent, is busy with academic monkey tricks.”
He said that in response to a comment by former Unam SRC President, Job Shipululo Amupanda who cautioned that if Unam goes ahead with the plan, “I will write a formulation calling for the heads of all capitalist politicians running that place. Who do they think they are? They think Unam is their toilet pot in which only them (sic) can place their behind? This is bad. There are departments without professors, some with only one professor and the list is endless. Was it Charles that gave the 80m tender to a council member? Was it Charles that stole computers? This is drama.”
However, other comments are more objective on the issue. For instance, a certain Josia JPesiano Joseph who commented on Ngurare’s status wrote: “Unam policies and the Namibian constitution are very clear. In as much as Cde Siyauya is my friend and worked with him in the past, I have no issue with him being dragged to a disciplinary hearing. It is only fair that he should be tried based on the grounds they have. On the 80m tender awarded to a council member and the stolen computers, again, I believe that it’s only fair that the two evil deeds be reported to ACC (Anti Corruption Commission) and to the Namibian Police for investigation.”
Unam director of communication and marketing, Edwin Tjiramba said the matter is internal; “It is an internal matter and I cannot divulge more information on that. However, I can confirm that Mr Siyauya has been summoned and I am not sure whether the SPYL pressure can do anything to prevent him from being called and that you must ask him.”
Email exchanges obtained by The Villager between Sarah Mbwale of Unam and Siyauya indicate that Siyauya has demanded for legal representation because “(1) The complex nature of the essential elements of the charges leveled against me. (2) We all know that Unam is being used as a tool to discipline me while in actual sense, the French government is the complainant here and I fully understand why some of you are in the forefront of this hearing because you still want French visa/work permits as economic refugees.
“Therefore it is Siyauya against French government and not Unam and as such I need a lawyer. (3) The alleged misconduct was committed in Caprivi region and the hearing is in Khomas region. To me, this does not make any legal sense and I need a lawyer to help me understand it better. ((4) Lastly, I am requesting for more time for this hearing because I am still mourning the passing away of a true African icon; Col. Gaddafi (if ever its (sic) true as engineered by western media) but if you insist, I will meet you as scheduled on Nov. 3. I had earlier on thought of resigning from Unam but I now have the energy from progressive Namibians to stand-up and fight this war to the end come what may and victory is certain.
“Equally , it will be highly appreciated if this/these French puppet/s who is/are hiding under Unam will come out and claim responsibility of this set hearing instead of hiding in some committees.
“If anyone does not find this e-mail in order, they are at liberty to add another charge/s on their charge list,” reads part of the e-mail to Unam’s Mbwale.
Siyauya faces two main charges; (1) bringing or causing the name of Unam to be brought into disrepute alternatively conflict of interest. (2) assault by threat and/or intimidation alternatively using abusive language.