The University of Nairobi has suspended a student leader for alleged mismanagement of finances from UoN’s student organization. The Student Organisation of Nairobi University (SONU) official has been suspended alongside another student for three years by the University’s disciplinary committee.
Victor Ouko (commonly known as Stitchez at UoN) and Ben Sirkal were suspended for alleged embezzlement of SONU funds. Victor was until his suspension the Sports and Entertainment secretary while Ben was actively involved in SONU activities.
But the two insist they have been suspended for demanding accountability in the SONU office. A few days before the disciplinary committee’s decision, Stichez, Sirkal and a bunch of other students had stomped the university finance office demanding SONU’s expenditure list after a Sh4 million planned retreat for officials failed to materialize. The Finance office came to a stand still during the more than one hour Stichez and the students were at the office block.
Stitchez termed the suspension unfair.
“I don’t know for sure who is pulling the strings in the administration for me to be suspended but I need to know just where did the Sh333, 333 SONU bursary for Main campus go to? Where is the 4 million slatted for SONU retreat? How is the SONU Sh34 million activity fee managed?” asked Stitchez.
Following the drama that ensued, the disciplinary committee quickly convened and passed to suspend the two fourth year Statistics and Economics students. They will have to wait until 2017 to resume their studies.
Victor has had previous run-ins with other SONU officials and the University admin. He was accused of running an illegal bar from his hostel room at hall 10. A few months ago, we reported how he together with a some rowdy students, attacked and injured DMK Kiogora – the SONU Chairman who had attempted to suspended him from the organization for embezzling funds meant for a sports and entertainment activity.
Sirkal on his part has been linked to orchestrating several demonstrations held by university students.
But their suspension has not answered questions raised by students on the perceived mismanagement of SONU funds which is in the millions. Over 5,000 UoN students contribute between Sh500 and Sh1,000 to the student organization though most students don’t know how the funds are spent.
UoN students took to social media to question the suspensions while others supported the Committee’s decision. his sentiments was shared by students who reacted angrily to the “So when did comradeship die???? Two very influential students are suspended and we continue sitting down, we need to be given reasons why they were suspended and they better be good reasons…..” Kevin k posted on Facebook.
The university is tight lipped about the whole affair. DMK Kiogora was quick to defend himself and said he regretted the whole issue but insisted that we are bound by our actions.
“I don’t think their suspension was necessarily but if they really wanted the expenditure list they could have come to my office which is open 24/7 and get it. Furthermore the university has proper channels of raising grievances, we are bound by action,” said SONU chairman.
Opinion: SONU: A bed of corruption and sex