The University of Namibia (Unam) has been accused of having ditched a group of mourning students by making a U-turn on plans to provide transport for them to attend the funeral in Katima Mulilo of a fellow student who committed suicide over a week ago.
The Unam student is said to have committed suicide in Academia in Windhoek.
The burial took place last Friday but the students were allegedly told at the last minute on Thursday evening, while waiting for transport on campus, that Unam was unable to provide the transport due to certain reasons, including the non-availability of a driver and vehicles.
The deceased, Evans Mutanikelwa Likando, killed himself by jumping from the Academia bridge onto the railway line below, where he was run over by a train and died on the spot.
The reasons for his untimely death are still sketchy with some sources close to the deceased alleging that he was not on good terms with his parents lately, as he had even changed his cellphone number to avoid communication with them.
“Why did Unam do this to us? If only they could have told us that there were some complications in honouring the agreement and then we could have made other arrangements to secure transport. Now we missed the chance to pay our last respects to our beloved friend because of Unam’s negligent and discriminatory practice,” charged an irate student who further questioned whether it’s because Katima Mulilo is far – “or why did they do that?”
She added that Unam has been assisting “other tribes in the same situation with no hiccups”.
She further explained that they were “pushed from pillar to post that evening and had to endure the cold in the process”.
“We were told to wait at Gym Hall after the memorial service, but later we received a call from one SRC member that we should move to Olupale Square, as the bus was waiting for us. Surprisingly when we got there, there was no bus but hardly after 10 minutes of waiting we received another call informing us that transport was available but there was no driver – this is where the confusion started,” explained the student.
She stressed that they tried to “put their heads together for a viable solution” but then when the driver was available they were informed there was no vehicle to transport them.
“They just kept making fools out of us, and at this point in time most of the people were already long gone and we couldn’t do anything. It was too late to get a hike. The same people again called saying a car and drivers were now available but needed a trip authorization, which they said the person responsible could only approve the next day which was way too late.”
Unam students had to abandon the trip in their grief and then disbanded to their respective places of residence.
Unam spokesman John Haufiku denied knowing of the death of the student – nor was he aware of any arrangements made for the students to travel to Katima Mulilo.
“I am not aware of the issue; I will have to find out, perhaps the dean of students might have been aware,” said Haufiku.