Influential University of Papua New Guinea entity the Southern Highlands Province Students Union (UPNG SHPSU) elected Jonathan Kila as it’s president for 2021 Academic Year at the Waigani Campus replacing 2020 leader Tom Berepu and his executives.
After strict screening of voluntary candidates by election officials under eligibility rules, four student leaders in Jonathan Kila (Final Year Law), Israel Oxoga (Final year Bachelor of Science), Winchbert Dopo (Final Year Environmental Science) and Albert Kopes (Year 3-Bachelor of Arts Majoring Social Works) contested the seat.
It was Jonathan Kila who got the mandate of the Union that was set through a charismatic speech before voting that seemed to sit well with the voters.
“We will do things differently this year. We will give more attention to our spiritual life and empower students leaders. We will work with our Medical Faculty, the External and the Internal students and together we will take the union forward” said an elated Kila during his victory speech.
As agents of change the next leaders were choosen based on their qualities and other attributes that made them stand out amongst other candidates who would drive the Union’s collective purpose, mission and vision in the 2021 term as a student at UPNG.
In other results Dulcie Luluai (Third Year Journalism & Public Relations) was voted in as the Vice President, Kenneth Kepo (Final Year Law) Secretary and Nicky Kili (Final Year Accounting) as Treasurer to back 2021 President Jonathan Kila.
The new executives promised action and transparency as the way forward.
Outgoing President Tom Berepu apologized to the Union for not achieving most of the objectives the 2020 executives mapped out given that most of the year’s program was disrupted by COVID-19.
“Even though we didn’t achieve most of our vision and plans we have stayed united and I thank you all for that,” Said Berapu.
2020 Secretary Jepeniah Kenoh who is also known for his exploits for the Souths Arts Warriors rugby league team backed Berepu’s in pointing out that unity especially in a time when COVID-19 pandemic is dictating unexpected terms is vital for progress.
“Continue to Maintain Unity and cooperation and we will continue to achieve alot of good things. Even though we didn’t do alot due to our shortened term, I am proud of our efforts during the Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare’s Haus Cry. We came as one and touched the hearts of the nation,” stated Kenoh when he congratulated the incoming executives.
Runners up and former UPNG Imbonggu Student Association President Winchbert Dopo congratulated Jonathan Kila and said he and the other candidates will support his presidency going forward.