By ALAL K’Alal
Moi University students yesterday attended their first crossfire; a platform where aspiring candidates are given the opportunity to sell their policies and convince the students to vote for them. Though not in the constitution, comrades have always found pleasure attending the event so as to get their best preferred candidates based on their policies and ideologies. In the past, aspirants have risen from grass to grace and from the unknown to the known through this platform with the recent ones being Seth Odongo and Salmon Omondi.
In a Kamkunji attended by over one thousand students, aspiring candidates in the dockets of Assistant Secretary General, Academics, Sports, Vice Chairperson and Secretary General had an opportunity to sell their policies and answer questions related to their dockets. In the interest of the students, the candidates had to show relevance in the dockets they wanted. Earlier, Grace Muchiri’s supporters were forced to take off the campaign T-shirts they had put on as that was against the election rules and codes of conduct. It was evident however, that some students still managed to remain in the T-shirts until the end.
While addressing the students, the Assistant Secretary General aspirants, most of whom appeared frustrated, confused and lacked enough knowledge on the docket, assured the students of a full implementation of the constitution and an inclusive leadership. Most of the aspirants assured the physically challenged students of continuous support and improved welfare.
The Academics docket, which attracted twelve candidates, had one candidate missing. It is still not clear whether the candidate had withdrawn his candidature. When asked about the fears of a possible ‘further notice’ holiday for third years, all the aspirants assured the third years that they must finish their academic year first before they proceed for industrial attachments. They also insisted that no media personalities would be victimized for articles they write. Speaking to The Legacy reporter after the event, most media students supported the idea but insisted on adherence to ethics and journalistic codes of conduct.
The hotly contested post of the Secretary General could not come to an end after students became rowdy. While answering questions regarding the constitution, most aspirants appeared mature and well conversant with the constitution, apart from Justin Safari who could not state what chapter six of the constitution entailed. It was clear that most of the candidates were for the opinion of annexations on to the current constitution rather than full review. This comes at a time when Moi University has over three drafts that have not gone past the senate and the students feel oppressed by the current constitution. They also insisted on detaching the union from administration and giving MUSO a national outlook. The Vice Chair aspirants could not present their ideologies after Muchiri and Nyawade supporters become rowdy.
Most students have blamed SEC, particularly the security department, for being biased and weak following the chaos that erupted and abruptly ended the crossfire. The students have claimed that the security department has many members from one community compared to other communities. Further, they blamed SEC for beating up students and insisted that ‘Jahome’ had to be out of SEC.
While addressing the angry students, Jeff Kenyatta, the SEC chair insisted that actions must be taken against such members. ‘Actions are going to be taken against members of SEC who hurt students’, he said. He further urged the students to remain calm as they look into the matter. It is expected that the remaining dockets will have a platform to sell their policies.