CAMPUS POLITICAL TWIST

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Anti-riot police officers confront Moi University’s School of Law students at the Annex Campus in Eldoret, who went on a rampage in protest against being excluded from the graduation list over missing marks, November 2018. PHOTO | DENNIS LUBANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Bottomline: by ensuring no revolution takes place under their reign as it would jeopardize their chances of landing a masters scholarship from their Master alongside other goodies lined up in the pipeline to reward their loyalty in wholesale and hire purchase

Campus politics has taken a new twist in the recent past. The twist neither deliberate nor inescapable, has seen a manifested itself by the painful transition of campus politics from allegiance to comrades fueled by the desire for freedom to fraud, greed and malice by the current crop of student leaders. Just take a look at around, you will notice the dwarfism in leadership across these institutions of higher learning.

Most student leaders today have very little to offer comrades. Once elected, their prime focus is to serve their masters (the oppressor) by ensuring no revolution takes place under their reign as it would jeopardize their chances of landing a masters scholarship from their Master alongside other goodies lined up in the pipeline to reward their loyalty in wholesale and hire purchase. The few who have guts to champion for the interests of their fellow comrades usually have their ‘arrogance’ trimmed through constant intimidation through isolation with fictitious claims that warrant the infamous 1000 academic day suspension or an indefinite expulsion if they are persistent in pursuing their course.

Rustication by University managements is the prime deterrent of human rights for university students today. For instance a student leader who is likely to be suspended for four years due to activism, may opt for silence through sharing the anti-student’s cake on the same table with the administration.

Such cases have been reported even in the iconic universities in Kenya. For example suspension of hundreds of students from the University of Nairobi due to the Babu Owino Election Saga. Another case is the suspension of all education faculty students of Moi University Eldoret West campus after demanding their missing marks in November 2016. In December 2018 Law students from Moi University school of Law, Annex were conspicuously missing in the graduation square after the university failed to update their marks. Even after demonstrating the previous month, their cries were insignificant. Campus press has been suffocated, student leadership is dead and comradeship is buried

The rot going on in institutions of higher learning today is unabated there is no watchdog to check on the excesses of the administration be it massive misappropriation of funds, missing marks, poor lecture attendance by lecturers or lack of adequate learning materials Anyone who is keen enough will be able to point out the difference in the quality of graduates back then and today,nowadays you are likely to find a graduate who is doesn’t fit the graduate check list as they are clueless,rudderless and useless. Ours is to suffer in silence for the 4 or 5 years before being churned out half baked,wet fried or steamed so employers shouldn’t question any ‘graduate’ with the requisite papers who have flooded the job market. Otherwise, of importance is life……

There are no concrete reasons why such ruthless steps are taken to tame student activism against injustices though various administrations hide behind baseless reasons to execute the cruelty on innocent students. The court system in Kenya which is mandated to protect the rights of every citizen fence sits acting as a bystander as comrades serve suspension and expulsion terms thanks to university  senate which is comprised of administrative academicians hell bent to protect each other as they cannibalize varsity coffers.

Cases filed by students who are victims of such atrocities are treated with less or no urgency which deprives victims their right to education. The government through the ministry of education also fails in its part for it exercises minimal supervisory role over university dons. This grants them excess freedom which violates to the rights of students placing comrades in a ‘If you talk You die, If You don’t talk you also die’ situation.

The popular culture of ‘let me get there so that we eat’, has washed away the virtue of patriotism in young leaders replacing it with power hungriness. This explains why nowadays there are fewer or no transition from campus politics straight into national politics as it was before. The current crop of student leadership if full of slay queens, nincompoops, riff riffs, home guards and merchants of status quo who see no evil,hear no evil but do all evil. They can’t articulate issues properly with over-reliance on chaotic goons who drink their alcohol, terrorize opponents before rigging elections in their favour.

University students have also shied away from participating in national politics by determining national discourse through formulation of national agendas. Student leaders who had potential of breaking into the national limelight end up as village henchmen and flower girls of local politicians carrying their handbags/briefcases, managing their social media handles as they write their speeches.

The remedy for these endangered breed of future national leaders is the quick intrusion of human right activists internally and externally to demand for the rights of comrades, failure to which the fear of victimization shall normalize cowardice while celebrating greed as part of their life this ought to be demystified sooner rather than later,the earlier the better.

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