It is just a normal Friday afternoon at Kenyatta University Parklands Campus, where the School of Law is housed. It would take a very keen eye to know that it is that time of the semester where the students vote in their leaders. With only two banners up and a few posters here and there, there is no other evidence to support the fact that there are elections.
This raised curiosity and so I sought to have a word with some of the aspirants and after having a word with them, I can confidently say that this is the ideal Kenyan political atmosphere that we have always been yearning for and instead of going to other places to benchmark; Parklands would be the ideal place to benchmark in.
One Barasa Fwamba, who is running for the Campus Chair seat said that this has not always been the case since when he was a first year the politics were characterized by chaos, fun fair, propaganda and to a small extent tribalism but over the years this has changed and it is now based on ideology and
This was emphasized by Quinter Otieno, a candidate for the female congressperson seat who added that other than the politics being more on one’s agenda and ideas; it has now shifted from who has more money to dish out as was the case previously. As Dido puts it, a candidate for the campus representative seat, “KUSOL politics is so far mature and quite cool. No chaos, no noises and candidates are conducting their campaigns in a serene manner.”
As I talked to all these candidates, one thing was common; less money is now being used for the campaigns. Barasa stated that less money is being spent, in fact, in 2017 whe he was running for the Congressperson he spent a very small amount.
The expenses have been reduced to the making of posters and banners since the electorate are not being bribed to vote in people and they are merely voting based the conscience and ideologies. “I really hope we will maintain this atmosphere of politics where we will argue based on ideologies and not finances”, said one Albert Rabin, who is running for the male delegate position.
Other than the use of less money and basing the campaigns on ideologies, there is less fun fair whereby there is no noise and the normal chanting of the famous campus politics slogans like, “Tibiim!
“This has not always been the case since the politics in previous years were marred with chaos and noises, the candidates were aggressive in conducting their campaigns,” as Dido put it. So I really wondered, how realistic are they selling their agenda and campaigning, with no fun fair? Quinter Otieno did mention, “The atmosphere is quite calm and quite friendly for the candidates this time mostly because people have purposed to refrain from propaganda and empty talk and the campaigning is being done on a one on one basis”. One anonymous candidate described the mode of campaigning as “low-key”.
The races are very challenging, stiff and interesting too but the diplomatic and ideological way seems to be winning in Parklands. In his parting shot, Barasa stated that “I hope that the politics will continue being cleaner, based on ideologies.”
Definitely, this is much cleaner politics than what is in our national politics and trips should be made to this campus to know how things ought to be done. This is certainly the most ideal political atmosphere that we as a country have always been longing for.