The management of Omuhonga Combined School recently faced criticism for purportedly promoting Swapo Party colours at its premises, at the expense of other political parties.
Ovahimba senior leader for Omuhonga Chief Kamusora Ngombe said that classrooms painted in maroon and green colours are promoting Swapo. Kamusora expressed his concern at the handover of a new hostel to the school on Thursday.
However, Principal Kakuva Kuma said the colours of the school were harmlessly chosen without any intention of promoting any specific party’s colours.
Kuma explained that the school staff specifically agreed to the maroon colour as it corresponds to the colour of the traditional cream used by many learners. The learners, who attend classes in traditional attire, apply a brownish-maroon cream to their skin, as is their custom.
“The buildings are painted in maroon and green and those are not Swapo colours. We just chose the colours to prevent people dirtying the wall,” Kuma explained. The green paint was chosen because it represents the natural surroundings of the school, Kuma explained.
A meeting was held at the school on Thursday to explain to the traditional leaders that the colours are not Swapo colours, where it was resolved that the colours should not be changed.
The principal further said that those interested in repainting the school should do so at their own cost, saying he would not allow himself to be used [for political ends].
Following several media reports about the situation, the school was recently provided with a school hostel donated by a German tourist, Wolfgang Fiedler. The hostel can accommodate 200 learners.
In June New Era reported that about 167 learners were sleeping out in the cold with no proper blankets to shield them from the cold.
Kuma said the learners have not yet moved into the hostel, as the school is still putting a few final touches to the building before they can move in. “Sleeping in the open is now a thing of the past. In addition to that (hostel), we also have three classrooms under construction by our ministry,” Kuma said. The classrooms under construction were approved by the education ministry last year. At present the learners are accommodated in tents donated by Namibia Media Holdings.
Omuhonga Combined School is situated 120 from Opuwo on the road to the Epupa Falls.