Let me start by clarifying that MUSO does not refer to the top leadership of Moi University Students’ Organization but rather the whole Moi Comrades’ Population. In the same breath, SUEU refers to the whole Student population at Egerton University. That settled, we can go on.
MUSO had their elections on Friday 13th September to elect their Student Leaders. The Competition for the Chair’s seat was between George Bush (Still wondering if this is his real name) and Kipsaro Arap Boit. Bush enjoyed the support of Jeff Kenyatta who had pulled out of the race just a day to election.
According to Campus Media, this election was taunted as one with the highest voter turnout. This is where SUEU needs to extract the first lesson. With a high voter turnout like the one witnessed at Moi University, the Electoral Commission MUST be above board. I predict the same high voter turnout at Egerton during the SUEU elections. There’s need to therefore constitute a Commission that cannot be cowed by pressure.
Secondly, the other contenders for the Chairman’s seat were obscured by Mr Bush and his worthy opponent Mr Boit. Mr Bush happens to be from the lakeside while Boit is from the rift Valley. There having been ‘public bad blood’ between Mr Odinga of CORD and Mr Ruto of JUBILEE, intellectuals at the prestigious University named after the Second President of the Republic of Kenya could not help but follow what their ‘tribal lords’ display in public.
SUEU need to realize the need to distance themselves from tribal groupings. Nobody knows, but if a Moi Student Can decide to chop off a Comrade’s finger, then you can imagine the worse. Egerton Students need to shun any aspirant riding on tribal horses because that’s not what intellectualism means. There’s need to find the cure to the tribal seed of hatred that was planted by our predecessors. It starts with me and you.
I talked of an ‘above board electoral commission.’ The voters list at Moi was found with discrepancies where close to 45% of the names in the list were not of Students from Moi University Main Campus. It was evident that the names were from KPA which is like Nakuru Town Campus to Egerton Njoro! We will not be better than Moi if it happens that Students from NTC come to vote in Njoro elections. We’ll even be worse if they are never recognized!
After the meeting between the Dean, Security, the Commissioners and the Aspirants upon the realization of the discrepancies in the Voters’ List, the elections were nullified. SUEU elections might not be immune to such a scenario. It called on the shrewdness of the various aspirants to practice their leadership skills. It was time to see who is a leader, and who is a politician. While the politician resorted to Chest-thumping and self exaltation, the leader was humble and already proposing solutions to the problem.
Well, after all was said and done, there were discrepancies in the electioneering process, the elections were nullified, the various aspirants took in the news differently, the reactions from both the electorate and the aspirants were varied with some playing to the tribal tune. An election date is ye to be set. Egerton is headed for it’s own day at the dork. Whether it pulls through and becomes an example is a question best answered after the ballot day. I however hope that the lessons were learnt!