Students blame administrators over chaos

May 16, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16 – University of Nairobi students are now blaming the administration for the chaos that rocked the institution since Friday.

The students on Sunday claimed that the university administration had rigged their candidate of choice for the post of chairman in the ongoing student elections.
“This is all about the administration trying to involve itself in the student’s elections which is not very fair,” said David Omolo who was vying for a post in the Sonu elections.

“The administration tried to rig the polls. This whole mess was caused by them as they were trying to plant their own students into the various posts,” he added.

“No chairman or any other posts here has ever had a student who has been elected democratically. Normally what happens is that other choreographing is normally done behind the curtains,” Dan Ogoda said.

They are now demanding that the administration keeps off the student’s election.

“The administration should leave the students union to operate the way it should operate, there should be no interruption,” said Joseph Odingo.

“That is where the problem began and the administration should rethink their strategy and let the process be more democratic,” David Omolo concurred.

“There are people who came and stole the ballot boxes from Mamlaka hostels and they were even armed with pangas.”

A strike by all the University of Nairobi campuses has now been planned for Monday.

On Saturday night, the students took to the streets and damaged cars and other properties.

A Sh20 million kitty, 46,000 members to control, fame, popularity and a chance to comment authoritatively on national issues are some of the perks that make candidates fight for the leadership of the Students Organisation of Nairobi University (Sonu).

Others are an opportunity to learn leadership skills and rub shoulders with high-placed personalities.

Another fringe benefit is that Sonu student leaders do not pay for accommodation at the institution.

It is for these reasons that the last Sonu elections held in May 2009 were highly contested, with David Osiany and John Ngaruiya emerging as top contenders for the chairmanship.

Mr Osiany won in the polls reminiscent of the bitter fight between PNU and ODM in the 2007 elections.

Mr Osiany was perceived as a darling of the university administration while Mr Ngaruiya was said to enjoy the support of some PNU kingpins.



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