The Rumor Campus

By SARATI Richard

Our university is known to produce the best journalism, media and communications professionals. Ironically, the university lacks a communications department. The rumor methodology works best here to the extent that some students have concluded that rumors in this campus eventually become the truth. It is no wonder in times of crisis the university has always suffered a public relations flop. Take for example what has been going on in the last couple of weeks. All security eyes have been focused on our campus. Unfortunately, the people who had the answers were also staring out helplessly.

The students have been left to the mercies of social media and the national media. Moi University should come up with a strong communication office that will be acting as her mouthpiece. This office will communicate both to the university community, academic partners, stakeholders and the public at large. The level of rumors would be reduced though rumors seldom die. Current situation is whereby nobody knows who should be making official statement on behalf of the university. We have had scenarios where the deputy vice chancellor academics, research and extension issues a memo whose main message contradicts what had been issued before by other officers. The office of the deputy chancellor Students’ affairs has had also the same challenge with issuing out directives that have contradicted those of MUSO.

Back to the times of crisis we have seen the vice chancellor himself come out to speak though very late. The reaction by our administration has provided fodder for national media and social media for days. The world has been watching us as we reacted to eventualities. We agree that the vice chancellor is the head of this noble institution, but, some responsibilities need to be relegated to a department with capacity. This is the department that will be responsible with issuing press briefing to the media and advising our administrators on how to speak to the media. It will also save the university the tainted image it gets when mainstream media crowd sources news about the institution from the social media.

The communication department will also be responsible for arranging social responsibility activities that will build the positive perception of the communities around it and beyond. This will save the institution a lot of cash used in advertising its courses in the mainstream media. The masses would have been reached at their doorsteps. It has been overheard that the university has been doing so well in Agricultural Society of Kenya Shows. Can this be duplicated to form a well-structured department that will do the PR all year round?

Staff in the Information Communication and Technologies department have been hailed to be doing a good job especially in connection with the online room booking. To an extent posting some updates on the university’s website and social media. Unfortunately both platforms are dumb, they don’t engage with the perceived audience. The sites have turned to posting what the vice chancellor has been up to especially signing a memorandum of understanding with another institution or agency. The I and C in the ICT are silent.

 

Stand With Comrades Living with Disability

By KAUMAH Frank

Moi University has various students’ organizations and associations with varying objectives.  From county associations to school organizations, these forums are pivotal in addressing various issues both within and without. MUSDO, Moi University Students with Disabilities Organizes, is one such organization that brings together people living with disabilities.

The Organization is an umbrella under which students with various disabilities find shelter. Despite being a vulnerable group, their efforts to rise up to various tasks within the university are evident and goes a long way to justify the phrase that ‘disability is not inability.

Willice Ngeso, the current Assistant Secretary General is a beneficiary of the unwavering dedication with which this organization approaches students’ leadership. It can be recalled that in the last elections, Ngeso garnered the highest number of votes cast.

While it can be assumed that historically, the post of Assistant Secretary General is perceived to belong to MUSDO, unknown to many, the organisation has always approached the elections with equality. A determination to contest like any other student, not as people with certain impairment. ‘I presented myself to comrades as Willice Ngeso. My desire to serve comrades was not pegged on my disability. It should be understood that while we may seek special treatment in some cases, we are capable of competing normally’, he said with a smile.

There has been a general concern that a special post should be constitutionally created in MUSO to accommodate students with disabilities. It is a fact that this group is faced with various challenges including but not limited to discrimination and access to various facilities, social or educational.

Unlike many organizations, MUSDO may not have an independent ability to organize all activities.  Such facilitations must therefore call for the intervention of concerned people. This can best be achieved by the efforts of a constitutionally empowered director. “The office of the secretary general is not set aside for MUSDO, it has only been lucky enough that Mwanza and I have won. I think that there is need for such a post,” he pointed out.

In his efforts to sensitize the whole comrade society on people living with disability, there will be a workshop today under the theme ‘Hujafa Hujaumbika’. This event will bring on board different speakers with an object to create awareness. ‘It is a forum that will objectively sensitize comrades on people with disabilities. It will address both the plights and strengths of MUSDO with the whole intention of improving our interaction with people. We welcome all comrades to the event’, he said.

The Legacy publication wishes to echo the MUSDO call to the whole students’ body to attend the workshop. Let’s stand with people living with disabilities.

 

Bill: The Constitution Is Underway

By ALAL K’Alal

Moi University Students’ Organization (MUSO) Secretary General Oliver Bill has reinstated that the long awaited constitution is underway.Bill urged the students to remain patient and provide support whenever they are called upon to participate in the review process.

Speaking to the Legacy, the Secretary General said the constitution review strategy has already been rolled out and that all the stakeholders should support the move. “The strategy is already outlined. The process is underway and all students are urged to participate. I will accept ideas that will help us have a comprehensive constitution that is free from manipulation”

He said the constitution will be a landmark towards liberation of the union and making it an independent entity where the students are ‘self-governed’ “The constitution will bring to an end the enslavement that we have been subjected to since 1984. It will be the turning point towards the realization of our long awaited liberation”

Further, he stated that his office is committed to serve the interests of all the students and deliver them from the yoke of bondage.

The Secretary General lamented over the current constitution saying, “It does not meet the minimum threshold of any legal document beneath the sky” Bill’s commitment is likely to rekindle hopes in students who already had fading hopes after consecutive disappointed from the previous regimes.

Previously, students have been left waiting for the constitution without any success. To date, there are at least four unsuccessful constitutional drafts from the previous governing councils. The constitution, should it be delivered, will be the greatest contribution of a student leader since the establishment of this University.

Work Study Yet To Be Paid

Students who have work study programs within the University are yet to be paid their wages for the services that they provide. The students have had their payments delayed for the last five consecutive weeks despite reporting for duty daily.

Speaking to the Legacy, a section of students who have not been paid expressed their anger at the manner in which the administration is handling the issue. “We are not happy with the way the issue is being handled. No one seems to care about our payment for the last five weeks”

The work study attracted over 150 needy students who were stationed at various places within the University.Daily, the students work for at least two hours yet they receive a weekly wage of 500 shillings.

While responding to their pleas, the Secretary General called on the students to remain patient while he follows up the issue with the respective administrators. “I ask all of them to remain calm. I have taken up the issue with the relevant offices and they will soon be paid their dues”

The delay in payments comes at a time when the University is allegedly facing financial crisis and mismanagement.

 

The Invisible Gor

By ADONGO Moses

There is no sweet moment for a player than receiving a trophy on a podium and taking photos of them unstoppably. This was the rare chance that Gor Mahia players got on Sunday as they celebrated their third consecutive win of the Kenya Premier League trophy. Unlike the previous seasons, the Green Army loyals have usually invaded the pitch and disrupted the celebrations, the Green Army fans yesterday stayed calm allowing the players together with their families to have memorable moments with the trophy. This was after wide calls from different stakeholders within the Gor Mahia ranks requesting the fans to keep away from invading into the pitch.
K’Ogalo on Sunday beat spirited Muhoroni Youth 2-0 to finish the Sportpesa Premier League unbeaten with an impressive 78 points, 20 points ahead of second placed Ulinzi Stars. Goals from Ali Abondo and Michael OIunga made sure that Gor Mahia finished a season unbeaten for the second time, being the only club to have ever held that record in the history of the Kenyan league. The first time G or won a league unbeaten was back in 1976 under coach- player Allan Thigo, being the first local coach to win such a feat.
In a ceremony graced by Siaya senator, James Orengo and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the invisibles were presented with a glittering 12kg SPL trophy measuring 90cm high and 60cm wide. The 1M Italian made trophy embodies the iconic logos of Sportpesa and KPL Companies. Gor Mahia now focuses on winning KPL Top Eight and GoTV trophies to add to the yesterday won feat.
Despite the glory, K’Ogallo who have played the entire season without a sponsor, are worried still as they may be faced with a financial challenge to hold onto some of their best players. Meddie Kagere, Michael Olunga and Geoffrey Walusimbi have their contracts ending this season and Gor Mahia may be faced with a challenge of finding their replacement. However, Gor have always managed to attract the best players in spite of the constraints.

28th SGC In Coast For Induction By ALAL K’Alal

The 28th SGC yesterday morning travelled to Mombasa for a one week induction exercise. While in the Coast, the twelve students’ leaders are expected to undergo a leadership training that will equip them with enough skills to govern the union. Further, they are expected to be introduced to the Moi University administrative system in order to ensure cohesion and good relations between the Students’ Union and the administration.

Since the commencement of their term, most of the SGC members have shown total ignorance and naivety in responding to students plights and performing their constitutional duties, save for the Academics director. The trip, according to a section of comrades who spoke to the Legacy, may help the SGC improve on their performance and calm the developing tension and impeachment ‘song’  that has emerged as a result of their incompetence.

The trip, however, has also raised a number of questions from some students who feel it is not necessary. According to the students, the ‘induction’ is not timely and ought to have been done earlier. They also argued that the students’ leaders would serve the interest of their ‘masters’ at the expense of service to comrades. In the past, most of the 28th SGC members had cited lack of training as key to their eminent incompetency and subsequent failure.

Constitutionally, the term of an SGC is limited to an academic year; an equivalence of six calendar months.  Since elections were held, nearly two months have elapsed but the students are yet to receive service from their elected leaders. Most students are faced with a lot of challenges ranging from lack of mattresses to continuous and frequent power blackouts.

Can the induction serve to ensure power blackout is limited, exam results are released in good time, sanitation in the hostels improved, food quality in the mess is improved and the paths to D and C houses

murramed? With less than five months to the end of their tenure, there is no doubt that the trip does not serve the interest of the students but rather the office of the dean and the University administration.

 

Unlike the 27th SGC where, in the absence of all the students, a student was appointed to act at the capacity of a prime director (unconstitutional), the 28th SGC has left a power vacuum. No student has officially been left responsible should a crisis arise before the leaders come back. This means that students will be governed by the office of the Dean of Students, a constitutional provision that most students feel will serve to limit their freedom within campus.

According to the students, if such an induction were to be effectively conducted at this time, and without inconveniencing both the common student and the students’ leaders both socially and academically, then it ought to have been done within the University premises. This would ensure that students are served and the SGC members are also trained at the same time. It would also limit unnecessary financial expenditure. Unless it’s merely a tour for the SGC official, the visit to Coast under the umbrella of ‘induction’ is a waste of time and hardly got resources.

Kenyatta University Students Go On Rampage

Yesterday the nation was treated to a rare and unfortunate news about the chaos that erupted in one of the best Universities; Kenyatta University. Being an institution that has enjoyed years of peace since 2008 when a similar incident was witnessed, this latest incident was rather untimely and ill-motivated.

On Wednesday, the students blocked Thika Super-Highway and engaged the anti-riot police in running battles which lasted for several hours thereby causing traffic snarl up in a rather free and peaceful highway. The security officers who were drawn from Ruiru (GSU-REECE squad is base), Ruaraka (GSU-HQ’s) and Kahawa Barracks had to hurl teargas grenades at the angry students to disperse them

The riots erupted after the administration, which some students accused of taking sides in the elections, disqualified one of the frontrunners, Sammy Owino in the polls which were to be held yesterday. The motive behind that unpopular decision was that he is accused of inciting students via the media, causing chaos at Ruiru, and failing to show up and answer the questions with regards to the accusations.

Some students, however, feel that the administration was abusing its powers by interfering with the polls in a manner that was likely to favor another candidate by the name Thuku. They insist that Sammy was poised to win the lections with a landslide victory and went further to accuse Thuku of engaging in election malpractices like voter bribery, which they didn’t take lightly.

The state of normalcy was regained on Wednesday but tension was still high within the University even with the security personnel on standby. On Thursday, chaos broke out and this time it was more organized and serious. They destroyed property of an unknown value with some saying that the damage could be in terms of millions of shillings. Some of the notable places that were destroyed are; Nyayo Mess, Tuck-shops which suffered massive looting, glass windows and doors and hostel doors. It’s still unclear but speculations are that some female students were raped amidst the chaos.

As at now, majority of students are at home as some claim that the situation is not yet favorable and staying within the institution could still expose them to more risks like injuries which some of their friends had suffered. It’s also believed that over twelve students were arrested during the riots by the police and taken to the nearby police station for questioning.

Scenes like these have become common in the institutions of Higher learning, with the easiest example one can give being our own Moi University which experienced minor fights among students of different political sides in the last election. The last two months have seen universities like Technical University of Mombasa and Kimathi University being sent home after holding demonstrations over issues that they feel should be addressed by their university management. Could it be that the University administrators no longer listen to comrades’ opinion? Or are we just witnessing a rebirth of a new style of student activism?

 

Prof Ali Mazrui to be buried at 900-year-old family graveyard

School of Information Sciences Students (Second Years) on a tour of Mombasa peep through the gate to The Mazrui Family Graveyard. The graveyard is located in the Mombasa Old Town opposite Kenya’s first Police Station. The late Prof Ali Mazrui to be Buried at this site.
Photo: School of Information Science Students (Second Years) on a tour of Mombasa peep through the gate to The Mazrui Family Graveyard. The graveyard is located in the Mombasa Old Town opposite Kenya's first Police Station. The late Prof Ali Mazrui to be Buried at this site. http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Family-yet-to-set-date-for-Mazruis-burial/-/1056/2486108/-/pqs26i/-/index.html
The Mazrui Family GraveYard. The graveyard is over 900 years old.