ONGWEDIVA: The Rally for Democracy and Progress Youth League (RDPYL) has disagreed with the way the Education Ministry is dealing with the ongoing dispute at the Haihambo Primary School (PS) in the Ohangwena Region.
In a statement sent to Nampa on Tuesday, RDPYL Deputy National Secretary, Sam Hamunyela, said the RDPYL is very concerned about the way Education Minister Dr Abraham Iyambo handled the situation at the Haihambo PS. He charged that it is uncalled for that Iyambo ordered the school’s Board to be dissolved and that the school’s principal, Rosalia Ndamanomhata, be temporarily removed from that school even before she was found guilty of any wrongdoing.
“This is uncalled for, and as the youth of this country we cannot allow such a political witch-hunt to continue unopposed in this democratic society,” Hamunyela noted.He accused the Education Minister of having failed to protect and defend an innocent school principal and her staff members, who suffered “politically-motivated intimidations from Swapo-Party supporters and leaders’, simply because of a development they tried to bring at the Haihambo PS.
“Instead of Iyambo to order the police to arrest the well-known culprits who trespassed and locked the school illegally, he went to dance to the tune of Swapo-Party criminals who double as enemies of the Namibian education and the Namibian child,” Hamunyela argued.
According to him, supporters of the Swapo Party took the law into their own hands by padlocking the school’s gate to prevent children and teachers from entering the school premises to start with their classes.
The RDP youth leader demanded to know on what basis the Education Minister dissolved the current school board and suggested the election of new board members.
“There was no inquiry done, except political noise from individual Swapo members, who are even uneducated and have no clue of lifelong damage they are causing to the minds/lives of those children they have locked outside the school,” said Hamunyela.
He described Iyambo’s call for the election of new board members for the Haihambo PS in three months’ time as unprofessional and politically motivated.
Hamunyela also believes that Iyambo’s call for the community to be given an opportunity to elect the Haihambo PS patron of their choice is “a political witch-hunt and character assassination” towards his party’s president Hidipo Hamutenya.
“It is inciting enormity within the community to hate him (Hamutenya),” Hamunyela said.
He alleged that Iyambo used his Swapo-Party Think-Tank tactics to dissolve the Haihambo PS board and to remove Ndamanomhata under the pretext of her safety.
The Haihambo PS became the centre of a dispute between Swapo and RDP members/supporters after Hamutenya, as the patron of the school, donated fencing materials and some money towards the development of that school earlier this year.
The Swapo members/supporters at Omutwewomunhu village in which the Haihambo PS falls, last week padlocked the school’s gate for some two days to prevent teachers and learners from entering the school premises.
The protesters, at the same time, demanded the removal of both Ndamanomhata as the principal and Hamutenya as the patron of the school.Iyambo ordered the reopening of the school, and described the protesters’ action as illegal and/or unconstitutional.
He then ordered the temporary transfer of Ndamanomhata to the regional education office at Ondangwa, dissolved the school board, and suggested Police investigations into the closure of the school. This decision was met with mixed feelings, with the RDP claiming that it is pleasing the protesting Swapo-Party members/supporters, while others described it as a fair decision.