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We made a mistake at Swapo event- Nanso President

The President of the oldest student organization, the Namibia National Students Organisation (NANSO), Ester Simon,  has admitted that she made a mistake by attending a Swapo event wearing party colours and got mistaken for being there in the capacity of her apolitical organization.

Ester Simon spoke to Eagle FM yesterday where she sought to clear the air over a video that circulated while she was in Swapo party colours.

This prompted a flurry of questions over whether she was politicizing NANSO or had been captured by political heavyweights.

Simon has come out to say that she was introduced at the party event as a Nanso leader, which was a mistake as she had shown up at the event in her capacity.

“I attended a surprise party that was organized for the head of the state where we went to his house just to wish him well. I, as Ester Simon, I am a member of the Swapo party, confidently I can put that on record. Unfortunately, there was a mistake that transpired there because we didn’t introduce ourselves.

But somebody on our behalf was doing a round of introductions. That individual introduced us in our capacity as official members of the Namibian National Students Organization. And already members are questioning us to say but leaders this is isn’t right. And I have already written to the national executive committee to explain the process of what transpired.

“Just to put it on record, Nanso does not have an MOU with any political party, be it PDM, be it RDP, be it Swapo. The organization is an independent organization, it represents the interests and well-being of students from any political party because our constitution is very clear to say Nanso is apolitical. Back in the years at the establishment of the organization in 1984, the organization was affiliated to a certain political party because that time, the cause was different, however there a came to a point where it disaffiliated,” she said.

Yet her actions have generated the anger of three regional leadership structures that have slammed her for being captured and tendered their resignation from the student body with immediate effect.


 The student’s Khomas regional leadership convened an urgent meeting to collectively discuss and find solutions to the current status quo of the Namibia National Students Organization (NANSO) and its future.

They said it was an open secret that some executive structures have openly affiliated the entire organization to the Swapo Party.

This evidently is outside of the intended mandate of the organization, they have declared.

The Khomas outgoing regional executive Vice-Chairperson, Shoki Kandjimi said the organization was being led by young people whose presence continues to disadvantage the students at large.

He described Simon and his top management as a ‘mafia group’ operating within NANSO and constantly compromising on the interests of students for political gain with the ‘big men of politics’.

“It is against this background that the NANSO regional structures together with SRC leaders from various institutions of higher learning in the Khomas region felt that there is a need to resolve the current challenges faced by the Organization and students,” said Kandjimi.

Resultantly, Khomas students in Windhoek have resolved to withdraw their whole Regional Executive Committee and 15 branches from the leadership of NANSO due to alleged infighting, lack of funding, suspension of leaders and the capturing of NANSO by politicians.

They tendered their resignation from NANSO with immediate effect saying the organization has lost purpose, direction and diverted from its objectives of representing students.

Kandjimi criticized the suspension of four leaders, whom he claimed had the region’s interests at heart.

He said these were suspended for questioning the organization’s financial audited report and thus to protect the organisation’s ethics and integrity.

He said, “After the suspension of these leaders who led NANSO genuinely and in the interest of students, many issues have continued affecting the students/learners without the organisation trying to resolve these issues. It is against this background that the whole Kunene regional Executive structure and all its schools’ branches resolved to pull out of NANSO with immediate effect, NANSO has become a useless and toothless organization.”

The Omusati region has also resolved to withdraw its whole Regional Executive Committee and its branches from the leadership of NANSO due to the allegations of infighting, lack of funding, suspension of leaders and the capturing of NANSO by politicians.

At Branch level under NANSO branches in Khomas region, Kandjimi said the following stakeholders have agreed with the decision: NUST, IUM, Triumphant, UNAM and Primary-Secondary Schools.

Simon has told Eagle FM that the three regional leadership structures that pulled away from Nanso did so without any formal notification.

 She said if any member is to resign from the organization there were internal processes that ought to be followed.

 She said that the row within the oldest student organization comes all the way from their congress where certain individuals were finding it hard to accept her leadership.


Kelvin Chiringa

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