Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why Magoha must go (as drawn from my experiences.)

Today, Police are all over the University. The administration police have surrounded Kikuyu campus. The GSU are baying for innocent students’ blood, across the Kabetes.
A combination of anti-riot, AP, and GSU police have cordoned off the statehouse road, and all they are waiting for is the whistle, the whistle to allow then to maim, maim male students. The whistle that allows them to rape, rape female students. And the whistle that will allow them to kill, kill anybody who runs away from them.
The media, the Kenyan media, has decided to give the situation of national importance a total black out, or give a one sided story, on the turn of events.
The media is trying to make this issue of national importance, to look like a simple politico-goonship story. The media wants to make the students look like barbarians, and that all they want is to stone cars and cause disruptions.
The media is part of the problem.

It all began in 2006. April, 2006. A group of former expelled students came to the University, they came as “revolutionaries” who had been kicked out because of fighting for students rights. They came and made promises, they came and excited students, they came and played with students’ emotions, but all they wanted to do was to fuck the students up.
Unknown to the University Comrades, Magoha had made a deal with these returned expellees, a deal to help him steal money, a deal to help him stay on his seat for longer, and a deal, to feed them with the cramps that fell.
In 2006, April, 2006, Magoha and his accomplices succeeded very well, and took almost all the executive posts.

Come 2007, May, 4th, 2007, Magoha wanted more, he wanted a tribally balanced SONU. He wanted arse-lickers, who could do whatever he wanted. And he had prepared well for it. Very well indeed.
In the course of 2006, he instigated for the changing of the SONU constitution, so that the outgoing office, would serve as the incoming electoral commission, this he did by: And I quote him “massaging the backs of the then student leaders.” Bribing through stealing from the students’ fund no longer had the common name of corruption, no, it now had been given a new name: Massage.
Come May 4th, 2007 Susan Chege, won the chairperson’s seat with a landslide majority. But Magoha could not allow that. He wanted the chairperson’s seat to go to a person who understood how “The system works,” not a novice whom he could not trust. Furthermore, he wanted a tribally balanced SONU, and given that there was no Luo vying for the SecGen’s post, he had to get a Luo for the chairman’s post. This was against the wish of the majority of Luo students, who didn’t like Adinda, Magoha’s candidate, due to his poor performance as a sports secretary the previous year.
Those who had tried to stop the rigging were instead beaten up by the riggers, and the University security.
Not only was Adinda, a person who had been booed and dismissed all through his campaigns given the seat, but so was a whole lot of others students vying for other seats.

We mobilized students to oppose those fake results and tension was all over the university. Even two former student leaders, the late Oulu GPO and Fwamba NC, could not just sit aside and watch, they came to our aid.  The University students wanted to take to the streets, but we told them to wait. To wait until we tried out the other channels. We went to all the offices that one could think of, from the ministry of justice, to the ministry of education, from well known lawyers, to river road lawyers, we did letters to the University Council and we finally met the VC himself. All he did was plead with us, not to cause chaos in the University. He instead blamed the constitution. But what he seemingly could not remember was that HIS constitution (new) was never passed by an AGM, and it was thus ILLEGAL. All we wanted was a repeat election of the elections, with neutral electoral commissioners. The talks failed and we settled for our last option: Leading the students to the streets with two agenda only.
1.       Magoha must go.
2.       Yote yawezekana bila SONU.

It was the only option that we had been left with, everybody else, the government, the Council, the Judiciary had given us a blind ear.
Oblivious to some of us, Magoha had already begun clandestine talks with some of the people we were together with, and by the date of the demo, only three people had remained. Demoralized and disoriented.
How did this happen? Was the only question in our minds. Magoha had proved that he was not only a master tribalist, but a master in the world of bribing. Some of the fellows had been given money, lots of money, others had been given imaginary posts, and others were merely threatened. (Here I can’t help but remember how I had a very progressive meeting with one Mr.Kibore, on how he would mobilize guys from Upper Kabete, drop with them in Chiromo, and head on to main campus. then 20minutes later, I meet Dann Mwangi, who shows me an sms from Kibore, who was already campaigning for the speaker’s post! A post that he had been assured of by Magoha himself!,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,of which needless to say, he never got. )
*Interestingly, the same rigging tactics that were used by Magoha’s men, were the same rigging tactics that Kibaki used in the presidential elections later that year (lack of ballot papers in some areas, changing of results at the summation halls, the use of security persons to protect the riggmasters etc etc)

But this was just the beginning of of Magoha’s successes.
That year, millions of shillings were stolen, by the SONU leaders in conjunction with Magoha’s administration. By the way, the SONU leaders had given the stealing a nicer name: Jackpotting.

Adinda had no decency whatsoever. His lowest point being when he led his goons to beat and maim around 60 Biomedical students, who had sought the University’s intervention for the recognition of their degree, by the Kenya Biomedics registration Board.
Instead of the goons, who had used metal pipes and whips to beat up the peaceful and innocent young women and men from Upper Kabete being suspended and facing disciplinary action, it was the victims who were suspended, and some even expelled from the university. It was hence quite clear, who was behind all this.
After a year of stealing, stealing and more stealing the elections were here again. This time round, I decided that I was not going to vie for the Secretary General’s post, but not under the conditions that were there.
Comrade Amuke and I (and later joined by Onchari) formed the reformist movement. And our call was >>no reforms no elections<<
All we wanted was one thing and one thing alone: THAT THE ELECTIONS BE SUPERVISED BY A NUETRAL BODY other than THE OUTGOING OFFICE. We had proposed the University religious student leaders, or NGOs like CMD, ford foundation and even the ECK, all of whom were ready to run the SONU elections.
Since when did the outgoing president of a country, chair the country’s electoral commission at the end of his term?
But Magoha could hear none of it. He instead told his commissioners (the outgoing exec.) that they should do everything in their power to ensure that one Mr. Mamluki does not get any post that he will be vying for.

I had forgotten who what we were dealing with, and I organised a meeting with the V.C, to try and prevent any trouble, and to promote conditions favorable for a fair vote. We attended the meeting with Che Ndumia, and Marvin Sissey. We had planned that Sissey would put our case up, and the rest of us would react later, the meeting lasted for around 10 minutes and Marvin managed to make our point very clear to the VC. As usual, the VC had to cut him short, but Sissey tried to push on (with reason,)
But reason seemingly doesn’t go well with him, so I intervened, and told him that all those things about security and supervision were useless, if we had the outgoing office overseeing the election. He then retorted something to the effect that he wouldn’t allow me to abuse him in his office, and this is roughly how he finished:
Magoha: Mamluki, if you think that you are a man, you will know that I am also a man, and you (Sissey) leave these people and go back to class!
Ndumia: Professor, when I was coming to this office, I thought that we could reason, but all we have had was a waste of time!
I went out of that meeting a very happy man, the battle horn had already been blown. When Sissey, Ndumia and I passed the info to Amuke and GPO, who were waiting for us outside JKML, they were both happy, not happy because now there would be a struggle ahead, no, they were happy to confirm that Magoha was just evil, we now not only  knew, but we confirmed what we were fighting.

But 2008 was not a good year to stage a struggle in the University. The tribal tensions were still very high, due the effects of the PEV.
By the time we hit the road for our >>No reforms no elections/SONU must go campaign<<, the SONU election date had been announced, and it was so near.
All this time we were doing quiet sensitization, some comrades could not imagine a UoN without SONU. Here are some of the questions that they would ask:
Question: Without the congressman, where will we be getting our bulbs from once they burn?
Answer: From the Custodian.That is where you get it even now.
Question: Won’t the admin misuse our SONU money once SONU is not there?
Answer: If SONU goes, then the subscription to SONU also goes, so there will be no money to misuse, but with these bad leaders, they will continue misusing the fund together, and that is why the admin insists on rigging guys in.
Question: Who will fight for our rights once SONU is not there?
Answer: The vacuum will be filled, by genuine people, since they won’t get paid to represent you, they won’t use or misuse your fund. As at now, SONU doesn’t fight for anyone’s right, it is actually used to pacify students, by giving them an illusion of representation,,,,,Kwani didn’t you see what they did to the Biomedical students? Didn’t you see how they raised the subscription fee from kshs100 to kshs500? Are those the rights that you are speaking about?

Our first place to hold a meeting was hall 5.
There we met a full house that thought we were looking for seats. That was until Onchari, who was acting as the MC took to the floor. Onchari didn’t know how to shout, but the guy was perfect when it came to passing of rebellion messages. As for my part, I would express my fears to them, which were their fears, and finally charge the crowd through songs and chants, Amuke would then kill it by telling them on the way forward. At the end of the meeting, all the freshmen who were vying for whatever posts stepped down, and we went chanting>>No reforms, no elections/SONU must go<<

But of all the meetings we held, the most memorable is the HALL 10 Kamukunji. Hall 10 hosts senior students only, and in most cases, they are never interested in politics, in fact, 4th years always hope for a smooth running of the uni so that they can finish up their studies. But this time round, even they had decided that they had had enough. Sisqo, Ndumia, Moraa, Musonye and I took the whistles and asked guys out.
On hearing the whistles, some guys from hall 11 also joined in.
As usual, Onchari cleverly introduced what we were pushing for, then Ndumia (I think) addressed the crowds, I charged the comrades through songs and chants, and Amuke finally killed it. In that Kamukunji, students were baying for Adinda’s blood, somebody within the crowd would shout that we go to his room and burn it(since he himself resided in hall 10) and the crowd would show their readiness but I remember Onchari telling them that if we did that, we would lose our objectivity, since it was Magoha that we wanted, others would ask us to take them to the road, but Onchari, almost overwhelmed by the crowds, told them to wait for proper mobilization. Adinda tried to mobilize his goons, but by the chants that they heard from afar, they could not dare come near.
I will never forget those comrades.
As I have noted, 2008 was a tribally tense year, but from hall 5, we had Kisii, Kikuyu, Luo and many other candidates stepping down. Truth had managed to remove the tribal veils from their eyes. In hall 10, I could see Mutiga, Onyancha, Fred&Poly, Onguka, Limo and many other people in solidarity with us. For them, they already knew the truth, since they had been at the university for a long time, all they now wanted was action.
But in the prefabs, we were met with serious resistance, some freshmen had been bought for alcohol, they came to disrupt our message, there was some physical tussle, and we knew that the system had begun retaliating.
Amuke, believed that it was Atemo DFO who had sent these people, since they were chanting his name (in fact, I had thought that there would be a fist fight once they meet, but that didn’t happen, they just exchanged some words)
(Some of the guys would later apologize, and wish they had supported us)
I then went ahead to a meeting in hall 7, and a few rooms in hall 8. But one thing that was very clear, was that the tribal divisions would not allow people to reason, and it would have been extremely difficult to holds more meetings in such conditions. Magoha was well aware of this, as we could see his bootlickers going round, polarizing the students, so that they could not support the third way. They had well oiled pockets for that job.
I didn’t really care for the outcome. Since the elections were held on an illegality (even the dates it was held were not constitutional>both in the Magoha and the legal documents<)

When elections are held under such conditions, there is bound to be complains. Even those who lose fairly are bound to claim victory, since the process itself is flawed. Whatever has been happening in SONU elections since 2007 has been pure madness, thanks to the machinations of the mad Prof.

That is why I am so happy today, two years later, to see that the students have risen, one and all, to fight this corrupt Tribalist.
That is why I support the methods that they are using, since we had tried all the other methods and failed.
But above all, that is why I am optimistic that, this country too, will rise from the oppression, exploitation and tribalism and the petty nationalism that the larger Magohas have used to suppress and divide  us for over 40 years.

Wachira Mamluki
17th May 2010

1 comment:

  1. Its good that you have been in the forefront championing for change in Kenyan institutions.Being a victim, am optimistic that one day change will come even though the message seems to be falling on deaf ears.