Roads and highways around buildings housing the University of Nairobi – from Main Campus at the city centre to Parklands, Lower Kabete and Kenya Science have in the past two days witnessed a new generation of students politics more grandiose and overbearing than the traditional low key inside campus politics of university students.
SONU, the students organization of Nairobi University, is a day away to the ballot and the institution which has churned countless Kenyan leaders is thick with campaigns as ‘comrades’ sell policies, hearsay, ethnicity, beauty and money. Heavy trucks and trailers are moving contestants around town.
Fighting for the chairmanship of Kenya’s largest and most lucrative students union are Babu Owino, JN Kariuki and Philbert Kongola.
From several interviews with students of the University of Nairobi, I get the impression that Babu Owino is unbeatable, or that he is poised to win.
“Babu will beat JN, his closest rival. The other candidate, Philbert, is very weak and acts more like an admin project,” reveals a student.
Babu’s ‘running-mate’ is Irene Kendi while JN Kariuki and Philbert Kongola have picked a Ms B Chebet and Edith Mwirigi respectively.
Kongola was a former speaker of the Sonu Parliament while Ms Mwirigi served as Secretary General. Little is known of JN Kariuki save for the fact that he is being funded by former MP Simon Mbugua and drinks Konyagi regularly along River road.
On the Secretary General’s posts, Akatch Jim, Dan Koech, Benna Mburu are in a tight race with no clear winner.