WHAT IS BABU OWINO’S ROLE IN THE NEW UNIVERSITY ELECTION SYSTEM?
Written by Brian Amwai on April 9, 2019
Following the turn of events recently in the universities elections, where leaders are chosen by the delegates as opposed to the popular vote, complains have been launched accusing Embakasi East member of parliament Babu Owino for being the cause of it. Owino is said to be the cause of the new system after he forcefully put himself to power after an election which he had allegedly lost to his then contender Mike Jacobs. The result of that, was a chaotic environment at the university of Nairobi, which prompted the leader of majority in parliament Aden Duale to propose a bill which would later change the voting system in campus.
The new system has had students complaining that the leaders chosen are most likely bedding the administration, and therefore not having the students interest at heart. The delegate system is accused of being full of malpractice, where delegates are easily bought by being promised special favors or at times even threatened, to vote in a leader which the administration sees as less of a threat to them.
Is the delegate system the worst system?
For many years student leaders shaped the national agenda in the political arena, the university was a training ground for future political gurus. Many known political figures in this country started from from university politics; James Orengo, Raila Odinga, Migun MIguna, former Mombasa senator Omar Hassan just to name but a few, were all student leaders at the university. This goes to show how university politics played a key role in the leaders of the future.
There was a time when students politics was held in high regard, you could see other national political leaders taking a keen interest on who had the following, the voice in the institution, one they could groom to join their political parties, this was the kitchen for political grooming.
Aspirants spent sleepless nights drafting strategies, campaigning door to door, moving the crowd with their eloquence in speech, from this a go-getter and a coward was identified.
well it was good while it lasted
The delegate system has castrated the quality of leaders produced by these universities, the laxity in proving to the students that you are the right choice and only concentrating on having the delegates on your side only brings out power hungry people and not leaders. And furthermore, one becomes the voice of the administration and not the voice of the students.
Babu Owino however did table a bill in parliament to bring back the popular vote system where he urged parliament to involve itself in the implementation and interpretation of this particular law or have it repealed. the progress of the appeal however is still under the bridge as there has been no results yet.