Moi University students organization have pulled out of the mass rallies planned by public university students to protest over the planned fee increment by the jubilee government for all students in public universities.
The demonstration which was to start tomorrow, with plans complete in Â several universities across the country, is steeped in allegations of competition for power, bribery, political infiltration, intimidation and opposition from several quarters.
A source close to the students organization leadership at Moi University – with over 30, 000 student members – has narrated to this writer how a bitter war of words was exchanged between the student leaders at Moi and those at the University of Nairobi, who are being accused of turning the whole demonstration to another ‘SONU affair’.
The prime movers – University of Nairobi’s Babu Owino, Maseno University’s Charles Juma, Kenyatta University’s Felix Lone and others from the technical university of Kenya (formerly Kenya Polytechnic – are said to be up against the Moi University group, led by Chairman Kipsaro Boit and Secretary General Nathaniel Akadima.
Of course it is politics. Competitive politics.
The Moi University group are said to be ‘close to power’ having met the Education cabinet secretary a month ago. Multiple sources reveal that while Prof Kaimenyi has declined to meet the University of Nairobi group, he has secretly been reaching out to the Moi university group with a view to persuading them not to join the demo.
“Kaimenyi called our Sec Gen [Nathaniel Akadima] over the weekend and has been very close to MUSO, I don’t think the same was extended to SONU,” reveals our source. We could not reach Akadima and calls to SONU’s Babu Owino went unanswered.
This morning, the Moi University group were summoned by the institution’s top university management and sources reveal they have been ‘tempered’ – talked out of the demo – by both carrots and sticks.
Here is how a student at the institution summed it up in a Facebook post on the institution’s students social media site:
Betrayal!Â This morning, MUSO chair Kipsaro Boit and MUSO editor-in chief Doyo have paid Moi University VC a ‘courtesy visit’ and given 46200/= so as not 2 take part in 2moro’s mother of all demos meant 2 counter gvt’s intention 2 raise skul fee. Comrades do not allow these hyenas 2 betray u, whether present or not, be part of this event coz is your rights u r fightin 4. Â Meanwhile, NUSO executivee led by Akadima r meetin KAIMENYI 4 sth little so as 2 sabotage the MEGA strike. Comrades dont relent! KAIMENYI should know that comrades’ power is 2nd God’s power. The Nairobi-Eastern-Coast wings are well connected! Â Remember not 2 hv sex 2night comrades, carry water n handkerchiefs. Dont leave yo cameras, smartphones, ipads, iphones behind coz the demo wont b televised live, nor radiocasted bt yo gadgets will b the reference points. Nyanza-Western wing is also ready. No mercy! Moi is usually led by activists n nt leaders, so activists dont sleep, it will b live!
At Maseno University, the students guild president, Charles Juma, spent the whole morning warning his members not to engage in acts of hooliganism and petty theft. It seems Maseno will carry on with the strike.
“Morning comrades,I want to state here categorically that,tommorows mega demo will focus on a major issue which is reduction of he lb by 25k n the government’s intention to double tution fees 4 both regular n module2 students.We shall not allow a section of students who might b having intentions of braking into innocent people’s property to loot.If u try looting tomorrow u will have yourself to blame.The demo is against the government n not the community so let’s guard ourself.N/b the demo will be captured by both local n international media,” warned Juma.
With a few hours to the strike, it remains to be seen whether all systems will shake Prof Kaimenyi.