The battle between the National Youth Council (NYC) and the suspended Namibia National Students Organisation [Nanso] is set to continue in the High Court.
Judge Shafimana Ueitele is set to deliver a judgement whether NYC should lift the suspension or not.
Three weeks ago Ueitele reserved judgement on Nanso’s urgent application in which Nanso requested the court to nullify the NYC Representative Council’s decision to suspend it [Nanso] for four months.
Nanso was suspended for alleged internal “deep division”.
Both organizations are led by seasoned lawyers in the persons of Sisa Namandje (Nanso) and Steve Rukoro (NYC).
Sources claim the rift between the two youth movements are politically fuelled by different Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) camps wrestling for dominance in youth affairs.
NYC and Nanso are headed by individuals who form part of opposing camps in SPYL, hence, the fight between them is seen as one of dominance of the SPYL.
The country’s three largest youth organizations are engulfed in major squabbles, all emanating primarily from the scramble for positions.
With Nanso, NYC and SPYL representing thousands of young Namibians, the infighting is counter-productive to the youth across the country.
Newly-appointed presidential youth advisor Daisry Mathias last month declined to comment on the state of youth affairs, saying she was “not ready to make public statements just yet”.
“I am not in hurry to make public statements while I am still busy acclimatizing and contextualizing everybody’s role,” she said.
The Nanso of today has been described as the total opposite of the Nanso formed some 31 years ago, known as a radical and visionary at the time.
Despite Nanso representing over 46 000 students and learners at tertiary institutions and secondary schools across the country, most of the headlines it made in the last few years were not related to issues aimed at uplifting the country’s students but rather politically based issues and fights for positions.
The organization seems to have lost track of its most prized ideal – fighting for the rights of students across the country.
Nanso under its new president Wilhelem Wilhelem looks promising, but it still has a long way to go if it is to enjoy the success of its founders during the pre-independence era.
With a membership database exceeding 20 000, the ruling party’s youth wing is undisputedly the biggest political youth movement, but a leadership crisis currently prevails in the movement.
Dr Elijah Ngurare was expelled as SPYL secretary and from the ruling Swapo Party last month together with three other SPYL leaders – Dimbulukeni Nauyoma, George Kambala and Job Amupanda – for their involvement in Affirmative Repositioning (AR) that is involved in land activism.
The SPYL executive then resorted to suspending Ngurare’s deputy, Veiko Nekundi, who still maintains the executive does not have the mandate to suspend him.
Following Ngurare’s expulsion, the youth league has not been as vibrant as in the past, with some claiming that Ngurare’s followers in the youth league are demoralised because of the manner in which Ngurare was booted from the party.
The expulsion of Ngurare turned out to be a perfect breeding ground for a power struggle between the youth wing’s deputy secretary Veiko Nekundi and the eight remaining national executive committee members.
The rift with its biggest affiliate, Nanso, has landed the organization in court. Allegations are that the decision to suspend Nanso was in contrast to standard disciplinary procedures.
The court case could cost NYC thousands in legal fees should it lose the court challenge brought forward by Nanso.
Many had hoped that the sour relationship between NYC and Nanso would eventually sweeten after the Nanso congress held in February, but the relationship instead became more sour.
NYC executive chairman Mandela Kapere indicated after the congress that he was willing to work with the new leadership of Nanso.
NYC’s General Assembly that is slated for next month is also currently in jeopardy because most regional youth forum structures are not in place.