16 April 2018

Kenya: UON Forms Team Over Disputed Student Election

Photo: Daily Nation
The University of Nairobi.

University of Nairobi has formed a 10-member committee to hear an appeal on the just concluded students' leaders election and which has been disputed by some camps.

The Senate meeting chaired Vice-Chancellor Peter Mbithi formed the Senate appeal tribunal a day after a section of students took to the street to protest the results.

"The committee is expected to work with speed and conclude its work and we appeal to those with concerns to table them before the Committee," said director corporate affairs John Orindi.

The students are protesting the election of Manyara Muchui as their new chairman on Friday and who was sworn in on Saturday.

Mr Muchui was elected the chairman University of Nairobi students association alongside Ombewa Peter as the secretary-general and Njiru Laureen Kanana as treasurer.

Others were Rebecca Orare as the vice-chairman, Kalapa Mukupo as the international student's representative, Stephen Sergon representing students with special needs while Dennis Museti takes care of sports and social welfare.

They were elected under Team Manyara.

Three other camps were disqualified from the race after the university's independent electoral commission chaired by Prof Mohamaud Jama said they had not met the requirements despite having been given two opportunities.

The three camps were led by Daphine Githuku for Tusonge , Abdi Jamal Adan for the libertarian alliance and Job Omondi Otieno for united students alliance.

However, the students blamed the administration for having imposed the new leaders on them.

One of the aspirants for the chairmanship, Job Omondi Otieno said the university management had been unfair to the other candidates, reiterating that the students would not settle for leaders they had not elected.

Mr Omondi was one of the three aspirants who were locked out of the race by the electoral commission which cited disciplinary and academic issues as some of the reasons.

Mr Muchui said he was duly sworn in as there was no other candidate in the race for chairmanship after the three were disqualified.

Prof Jama they had elaborate preparations that those that were locked out did not meet the requirements.

"The constitution provide that where there is one team, it stand elected unopposed and swearing take in a public within 24 hours," added Prof Jama.

For one to qualify to participate in the election, a student have good academic standards, no pending supplementary in exams and must be cleared by his dean , the team must have people of diverse background among others.

A team is also supposed to bring a list of 700 supporters from 7 out 12 electoral college of the university.

"We conducted the election in 11 out 12 electoral college areas and its only Kisumu that did not participate due some issues," he added.

He said the election was observed by officers from Commission for University Education (CUE), gender commission, Kenya human rights commission among others.

According to the Universities Act 2016, the students association is to be governed by a students council comprising a chairperson and a vice chairperson who must be of opposite gender, a treasurer, a secretary-general who is the secretary to the council, and three other members to represent special interests of students.

Those elected in leadership positions must reflect national diversity; and have not more than two-thirds of its members being of the same gender.

The students association must constitute itself into electoral colleges based on either academic departments, schools or faculties.

"The students of each electoral college constituted under subsection (1c) shall elect three representatives from amongst persons who are not candidates under subsection (1a); and of whom not more than two-thirds shall be of the same gender.

"The representatives of each electoral college shall elect the members of the student council within 30 days of the election under subsection (1d)," the Act says.

A member of the student council is required to hold office for a term of one year and may be eligible for re-election for one final term.

More on This

UON Students Oppose New Leader, Cite 'Sham' Election

Police on Sunday afternoon battled University of Nairobi students who were protesting the swearing-in of student leader… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 The Nation. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.