Unam students erect shack on campus

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Nuusita Ashipala

Oshakati-The University of Namibia (Unam) Oshakati campus on Friday opened a case of trespassing against the Student Representative Council (SRC) vice-president Junias Shilunga, who with other students erected the ‘Lazarus Hangula Block 1’ shack on the campus.

Communications and marketing officer at Unam Linus Hamunyela said the case has been opened against alleged ring leader Shilunga and his followers for unlawfully bringing weapons on campus and illegally occupying the university premises.

Hamunyela said the case opened is a cue to deter students from constructing shacks at the campus in future. Shilunga said he was not aware of any case opened against him.
“I also just heard it from the papers – I am still waiting to be informed if there is a case against me.”

A group of students from the Oshakati campus on Friday protested against the lack of accommodation on campus, charging that Oshakati is the only campus without a hostel.
Shilunga said although only one shack was put up, the students were planning to erect more shacks if the situation had permitted.

Last year students held a peaceful demonstration pleading with the university to look into their plight and had given management until February this year to give them feedback.
However, no feedback was given until Friday.

Although the shack was removed at midday when the police were called to the scene, the students threatened to bring tents to camp at their ‘plot’.

The students charge they are tired of management’s ‘no money’ responses.
According to the students, amidst the alleged financial crisis, the university has constructed a N$340-million administration block as well as a N$27-million gate at its main campus.
“But what about us, we lose valuable items at night when we return home late after classes – are we also not students?” questioned Shilunga.

Hamunyela said the university has already acquired land for the construction of the hostel, but the process is delayed by changes in the procurement act, which came into effect on April 1.

He said the university has made substantial efforts in finding a public-private partner to develop the hostel.

“While we have started the process and appointed the contractors, the point remains that no contractual agreement was yet signed with them. That is where we are now – so all we do shall be in accordance with stipulations of the procurement act,” said Hamunyela.

He however said Shilunga should not behave as if he does not know where the university stands as he also sits in management meetings.

Shilunga on Friday refused to come to the table when management sought an audience with him.

Shilunga said he would not divulge their plans, but threatened that they would take action if the university does not give them a response.

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