Two days ago, Seth Odongo, made a very interesting post SONU electoral system that I want to echoe, emphasize and impregnate with my own thoughts. He alleged that Babu Owino’s re-election is a mockery of SONU’s electoral system, not of university student politics generally.
What we are seeing at the UoN is a replica of what is wrong with our national electoral politics. Like SONU electoral system, our national electoral infrastructure is useless, rigged and in the pocket of the establishment. The swampy electoral conditions which allow Mr. Owino to win SONU elections as he pleases, irrespective of wishes of student fraternity, are the same conditions which ‘assure’ President Uhuru that he will retain power, regardless of what Kenyans including voters think. UoN students have to figure out how to drain the swamp. It would appear that for Owino that it doesn’t matter how many votes he gets legitimately. For whoever votes for Babu or doesn’t vote for him doesn’t count, like Uhuru, whoever matters are only those who count the votes. Period. Nothing else.
It would appear that University administration who should have been neutral arbiter are on Babu’s side, for one reason or the other, similar to what we found our (or will find) with our Supreme Court bench.
Today you see UoN students blocking roads and battling with police in effort to ventilate their frustration, and to protest against ritualistic elections which have no bearing at all on what the students think or wish.
What is interesting and unknown to many of us is that most of Babu Owino’s rival Mike Jacobs’ supporters are actually ‘Jubilants’ especially Kikuyus and Merus. Not because they believe in Jacobs leadership, no, it is because they are happy he has courage to take on Babu’s madness which has outwitted them for a while now. They are saying they are annoyed that Babu Owino pulled a ‘Kibaki’ on Mike Jacobs their candidate by swearing himself at Taifa Hall instead of ‘Pope Square’. Mike Jacob’ supporters were smarting themselves to protest against Babu’s swearing in at Graduation Square when they were rudely shocked to see on Whatsapp and FaceBook pictures of Babu already sworn in. It reminds me of 2008, Kibaki on KBC saying “…nitaendelea na kazi zangu za uhalifu…” and then hell ripped apart. These guys are saying they are tired with SONU’s rigged electoral system where their voice and wishes don’t count.
But the same individuals and their variants out here, when we tell them out here that we from “left politics” are tired with rigged national electoral system called IEBC, and therefore, we want it reformed, they retort, you cry too much, just accept and move on. When we tell them we are tired of IEBC boss Isaack Hassan like VC Prof. Mbithi having a favorite candidate. They retort we cry a lot about losing an election.
The way I see it, voters reserve every right to vent their frustration whenever electoral system gives them outcomes that do not represent and reflect wishes, desires and thinking of the majority. That majority must never be cooked as the case for Uhuru’s 2013 and now Babu’s SONU. What do I expect next year?
In the event that Uhuru is declared a winner as Babu was declared from rigged electoral system then voters must decide that ‘tap water’ isn’t good enough and go back to ‘drinking from the wells’ of self-determination for self-preservation. Rigging must be robustly resisted and vigorously protested because people, citizens and voters want their quieting, their ballot, and their voices to count.
Disclaimer: This post in no way is intended to endorse untoward wanton destruction of private and public property. It only underscores lessons that should be learnt from UoN students riots.