We all saw it, when the former Prime Minister was complaining of being treated unfairly. That even the famous red carpet that is normally rolled out for senior government officials was ‘nusu mkeka’ . He wanted to be treated the same way as the Head of State.
These, probably are same things We the People should brace ourselves for if Langas and his team are co-opted in the Students’ Governing Council. For people who have been keeping tabs on the aftermath of the just concluded elections, it is no secret that Langas, Towett, Shangai and other election losers are vehemently pushing for a power shairing deal.
So serious are they, that they met with one of the top (if not the most senior) administrator(s) recently to table their complaints. Even though the resolutions of their meeting have not been made public, the atmosphere at the Dean of Students’ office clearly indicates that the union is inevitably headed for a power sharing deal.
Yesterday, Langas and his team held talks with the Dean and their main agenda was how they can be absorbed into the new SGC. The other faction of elected student leaders walked out in protest swearing that they cannot and are not ready to share power. It should be noted that Langas enjoys support from Kalenjins (both students and the sorrounding community) and a smaller percentage of students from Gikuyu community. The Kalenjins are the majority when it comes to employees of the university.
While addressing comrades at the Students’ Centre, the newly elected Chairperson Mr. Jared Mogire Onchiri who enjoys support of the Kisii, Luo, Luhya and other minority groups, said that they are not ready to share power with election losers. He called on comrades who supported him and his coalition patners to stand united against such a move.
Langas and his coalition patners allege that most of his supporters were sent away by some rogue commissioners when they went to vote thereby giving their opponents unfair advantage. However, while speaking to the writer, a commissioner who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the seriousness of the matter,said that they realised some students from West Campus had come to Main campus and were voting illigally promting them to ask them for their transfer letter incase their names were not in the system that was used to verify students.
They are also raising questions at the manner in which elections were generally handled particularly the opening time and closing time of voting. They are also saying that the Students’ Electoral Commission (SEC), was partisan and not independent. That some commissioners were ambushed in a hostel room and injured by goons on the eve of elections confirms on the allegation. Further, they are demanding that the university should take care of the injured commissioners’ hospital bills.
After being defeated by Mogire, Langas refused to sign that he accepted the results and walked out of the tallying centre. A matter that they are now raising in their petition. His team has also faulted the swearing in of the new SGC saying that it was done contrary to the constitution. The constitution states that the ceremony should be done 1 week after elections and prefferably on Friday while this time round, it was done two days earlier. The chairman of SEC Mr. Salim Cheserem, who should be in attendance was also missing during the swearing in ceremony. This only worsen the controversy sorounding the entire electoral process.
The peace within the university now seems to depend on the decision that will be made by the Dean who obviously is in dillema because any decision he will make will definitely draw opposition from either of the warring sides. Recently, the university had to be closed after both sides engaged each other in running battles and hurled stones at each other and in the proccess destroying glass windows at the Students’ Centre.
It was reported at that time that there are political forces behind the latest stand-off. Area politicians are accused of having interests at the university’s Students’ affairs. They are hell bent to ensuring that all Universities in Eldoret are headed by their own people from students’ unions to universities’ administrations. A case in point, University of Eldoret formely Chepkoilel University (a branch campus of Moi University). Succession politics are also alleged to be in play as the term of the current Vice Chancellor Prof Mibey is coming to an end. Two Professors holding senior positions in the university’s admnistration are alleged to be eyeing the position of VC and they want to use the SGC to rise to the powerful position. Both of them had their preffered candidates for the docket of Chairperson of the Students’ union and when the other one lost, he has seemingly decided to interfere with the composition of the SGC and is out to ensure that his candidate gets into the union no matter what.
Power sharing deals normally ruin the smooth operations of any organisation/government. It leads to inefficiency and constant wrangles which affect service delivery. This is surely not the best road for students and even if they are co-opted, what roles are they going to be asaigned? Which creteria are they going to use to ditermine who should or not be co-opted? Such moves often lead to constitutional crises.
Elections are normally held every academic year and therefore if one lost this year, the most honorable thing he/she must do is to accept defeat and call for peace even if his/her supporters are feeling angry and dissappointed.
So far, nobody knows when all these issues will be settled. The security and peace within the university is at stake as some members of SEC cannot sleep or walk freely within the campus because of fear that they might be attacked by goons particularly from the losing faction. Among them is one Nathaniel Akadima who is a former Secretary General of Moi University Students’ Organisation (MUSO) who had to move out of his current residence because of the same reason. His shop, was also burned down as a way of retaliation by unkown goons on the night some commissioners were attacked.
As students prepare for exams which will commence on 10th, August, all that is important is that peace is maintained and as the saying goes,”There is no way to peace. Peace is the only way.”
Moi University administration block. Photo: courtesy.