Today the students go to the polls to elect 36 officials of the new look central student union body; the Jomo Kenyatta University Students Union (JKUSO). The new JKUSO constitution now operational saw the demobilization of the three unions (JKUHRDA, JKUADSA, JKUITCSO) then existing under the former constitution into a single union – JKUSO. This time students in all campuses (Juja, Nairobi, Mombasa & Taita Taveta) will be voting for the same leaders. The elections have attracted over 100 candidates.
This year, the campaigns have been very big. A year ago I remember the chairperson contenders used to go round the campus in one car being hailed by their supporters. This time round, it’s a different story. The candidates are moving around in motorcades of 5 or more vehicles. Let me not even start on the number of motorcycle escorts in these motorcades. This time they have gone all presidential!
In the past two weeks we’ve had live concerts from Mejja and Juliani (who apparently is quite short in person). These were courtesy of the candidates vying for the Entertainment Secretary position. One of them has been doing his campaigns in a yellow, sleek convertible BMW.
As luck would have it two contenders; Patrick Mwangi and Chris Ng’ang’a have already secured their positions as vice chairman and secretary general following the disqualification of their only contenders on a JKUSO constitutional technicality. Good luck to the rest of the candidates.
University life is a pretty rich experience. By rich, I do not mean purely pleasant but richly varied. It is a very interesting shadow of society. I find it to be like a pseudo society; a model that portrays what the wider society is like. Take the JKUSO elections as an example. The amount of money we see the contestants spending makes you realize its a game for the ‘able’. And some make crazy promises. And some of my friends don’t want to vote. I, personally, want to. I am a citizen of our pseudo state! Doesn’t that speak our society?
Sammy Collins, a first year student.