The seemingly unending feud between two major political alliances in Kenya — Jubilee and Cord — has stretched its influence deep into the hearts of campus politics.
This was the situation at Moi University in the just-ended student elections.
A former Moi University Student Organisation (MUSO) official, while speaking on condition of anonymity, told Campus Vibe that:
“As the Luhya, we decided to “divorce” the Luo after we felt we were disadvantaged in the Cord coalition. We have never been supported for the campus chairmanship docket, and so we shifted links to form a coalition with the Kalenjin. We named it Kale-Luhya. In fact, we ended up winning nine dockets out of 11. Luos for the first time in history teamed up with Kikuyus and the Kisii, Coasterians, Kambas and Merus to form UBUNTU It was very tribal...”
The alliances were seen taking shape especially between Faith Muthoni and Lavinah Samini who were fighting for the Vice Chair post.
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The gorgeous ladies, whose apparent charm and beauty was itself a matter of election, spoke to Campus Vibe about their experience.
“Well, you see from the very beginning, I didn’t subscribe to one tribe and before the Kikuyus went merging with the Luos I was still the best candidate in the so called Jubilee, now called Kale-Luhya,” said Lavinah who trounced Faith, allegedly from Cord.
Faith who lost to Lavinah by a margin of 18 votes described the race as tough. The 22-year-old said: “Moi Uni politics are stripped down to tribal coalitions. I would say the coalition I was placed in wasn’t favourable. We were five of us in the coalition, contesting for the same seat while my key opponent was the only candidate in her coalition. She easily won considering I had to battle five other candidates in my coalition and her too.”
Reacting after her win, Lavinah said: “It feels great to win! It’s by God’s grace and hard work that I won,“ adding that, “as the new VC, I plan to serve comrades to the best of my ability and ensure there’s transparency and equability with the way I will be handling issues.”
Lavinah, whose political role model is former speaker Kenneth Marende, described Faith as worthy opponent.
“She was good, focused and also determined to win, but all in all we will work together. I had a dream of serving comrades, and personally, I have been in this institution for three years, and so I understand what comrades go through. This made me go for Vice Chair docket,’ said Lavinah, whose teaching subjects are maths and physics.
“ I think future aspirants must have the passion for politics. To be ready to serve comrades and be ready to face intimidations and discouragement,” she said, adding, “during campaign period, I was told that I won’t make it, that the most was beyond my level. I thank all my supporters. Those who advised me, corrected me and guided me. May God bless them all.”
Faith, a student of Linguistics Media and Communication says she spent Sh50,000 in her elections, and did not employ the services of goon.
Both ladies, agree that diplomacy is way better than radicalism owing to the spate of strikes in Moi university main campus.
Moi University took significant steps to end the cycle of violence that had become the trend during student elections. The university introduced a televised debate format in place of the traditional ‘Kamukunjis’.
These were open sessions where the aspirants got to officially introduce themselves to the students, and to appeal to the outliers who had yet to be swayed by posters and door to door campaigns. In the past, Kamukunjis have been breeding grounds for clashes between supporters. By doing away with them, the administration successfully arrested this problem.
The debates were instead aired live on the university station Kenya Television Service, KTS, with most of the students watching at the Students’ Centre.