Student leaders petition new university elections amendment

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The Milimani Law Courts set the hearing of the petition against the students’ election bill for Wednesday 25th January 2016. Top student leaders including JKUSA President Anyungu Wanyungu will be present in the courts from 12 noon to fight against what they term as draconian university act of 2016.

During the Christmas Holidays, a bill was passed by the national assembly which takes away the rights of Kenyan university student to participate in student activism and accords them to a small group of leaders who represent the rest. The amendment was published in the Kenyan Gazette, 30/12/2016 notice number 198.

Many student leaders across the country have considered this bill which gives only seven leaders from every college regardless of the size, the responsibility to fight for the rights of every comrade, shortsighted and severe.

Some have claimed this amendment takes us to an era characterized by inefficiency, impunity, and powerlessness of the common comrade.

In a statement this morning, Sir Anyungu said; “Elections through popular vote has been our tradition in Kenya not only at the national level but also in university. The Electoral College system is therefore not needed, unwanted and uncalled for. The law must be reverted”.

The national leaders behind the drafting of the new system claimed it’s a more efficient way of representing university and college students and it’s meant to avert the kind of divisive politics among the youth as witnessed in the 2007 general elections.

On the other hand, university student leaders believe that besides it being sinister and unconstitutional to control elections of university students, the new system is much more ineffective and hard to implement compared to the original system.

Courtesy of devolution, power was decentralized in Kenya hence many people are now able to present to the government their grievances and get assisted. This new amendment, however, does the exact opposite; it concentrates power to a few vulnerable people who cannot fully represent the interests of comrades.

As the case hearing progresses, many students have their fingers crossed, hoping that the right decisions by the court will prevail over the seemingly poor decisions made by the national leaders.

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