Kenya: Varsity Students Unite to Shun Tribalism in Learning Institutions

Thika — A group of university students on Saturday Dec 1, came together to launch a campaign aimed at bringing an end to tribalism among young people in the learning institutions.

The students from the University of Nairobi, Kenya polytechnic, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology launched the campaign dubbed Ukabila zi! Slang for 'no to tribalism' at the Deliverance Church in Thika town.

According to Jesse Badia Ongiare one of the founding members of the group from the University of Nairobi, the campaign will include seminars for student leaders from various universities and colleges on peace and conflict resolution.

"Student leaders are very influential in their respective colleges and universities and we want them be the ambassadors of peace by forming part of the team that would train other students on our behalf," said Jesse in an interview with CISA.

"We are targeting young people concentrated in institutions of higher learning: colleges, universities. The main challenge facing our own student organizations is tribalism. Most believe that if you are not from a certain tribe then you cannot be elected to a certain post," said Jesse.

The campaign comes at a time when the political temperature is heating up in Kenya and politicians are known to hire students from colleges and universities to heckle and build up crowds during political rallies.

By engaging the students directly the group hopes the youth will be able to come up with solutions to their own problems and avoid being used by politicians in perpetuating violence.

Ukabila zi also hopes to form clubs in secondary schools country wide to give students a platform for exchanging ideas on how to enhance cohesive living and to bond as Kenyans.

"We want peace in our country, our tribe should not describe who we are, we are all Kenyans, created by God, so let's maintain peace especially at this time of election campaigns, " said 23- year- old Jedida Owino a former student of Kenya Polytechnic University College.

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