By: Ketemba Tjipepa
The Students Union of Namibia (SUN) is embroiled in a dispute over the ownership of a driving school initiative that could soon be incorporated at universities. This comes after the owner of a local driving school, Panduleni Nghitila, accused SUN of allegedly stealing the idea, while the student union claims that having driving lessons in the university curriculum is not a new concept. Speaking to Today on One, the former University of Namibia (UNAM) student leader, Nghitila stated that he came up with the idea of introducing a driving school in every tertiary institution and engaged the Ministry of Higher Education with a presentation on the concept. “We engaged various bodies and one of those bodies was the Students Union of Namibia (SUN). We even went as far as engaging the executive director in the ministry of higher education. Fast forward, three months later the same people (SUN) came out with a press conference, claiming apparently it's their idea, when in actual fact it is our idea,” said Nghitila. Responding to the accusations, president of SUN Benhard Kavau indicated that they did not steal anyone's idea, as the idea of incorporating driving school in tertiary institutions has been discussed at several platforms over the years, and a common practice in universities in many parts of the world. Kavau further said that the idea is multilateral, thus cannot be solely owned. “We are the first student body to propose for the driving school to be incorporated in schools. It’s us, it is our idea that has come from our consultations, that has come from our members, that is based on empirical evidence. We are bringing it on the table here in Namibia but we can’t say it’s our idea,” said Kavau. Nghitila stated that they are planning to take legal action against SUN for copyright infringement.