The Technical University of Kenya students have conducted a demonstration within the school compound condemning delegate’s representation in voting of their leaders.
They are seeking to re-introduce the Popular Vote, where each and every student will be able to elect the student leaders they want based on their agenda/manifestos and afterwards free, fair and transparent elections.
Through Their Secretary General (SG) Clinton Mariera, the students want the bill to be amended especially on the Electoral College clause and give in to a diversified democratic approach of university elections.
They have formed an initiative termed One Student, One Vote that seeks to push and restore the lost university democracy following the university amendment bill of 2016 that was drafted and signed into law by the president on December 10, 2021.
“The vibrancy, the democratic space and the freedom of choice that existed before in universities have been outshined by a sudden turn of events instigated by the electoral provisions captured in the university amendment bill of 2016,” added Mariera.
They have added that The Electoral College system type of elections that is advocated in the bill has maimed and tortured our freedom of choice, this is because few students (delegates) are chosen from departments.
“With this Electoral College system, vote rigging and corruption have escalated since a few students are involved in electing the executive student leaders,” added Mariera.
According to them the Electoral College system has created a class in the university democracy. Well off students have an upper hand in manipulating the elected delegates compared to their fellow compatriots and yet a good democracy should observe diversity and equality.
They say the system may not be the accurate reflection of the will of the students.
According to them, the Electoral College system has created an easy ground for university administrations to manipulate and influence the outcome of the elections.
Benjamin Mutuku said that as students they need to represent themselves because one delegate from each blog cannot represent a mass of over 1000 comrades.
“Being represented by delegates is a work of encouraging corruption and bribery and we are condemning this strongly, “he added.
Phobian Maisha another leader said that they will not allow democracy to be demonized, he added that they are supporting one man one vote.
“We demand for one man one vote and our democracy to be respected and we are not answerable to those elected by delegates of only 15 people, one comrade’s one vote in this institution and all institutions, “he added.
He said that their grievances cannot be aired by a delegate of only 15 people and they will mobilize all students in all universities to support them.
Mariera the student SG said they are hungry and angry because the democracy in the voting system has been killed.
He added that they are not happy about the Electoral College system which has brought democratic drought to the students.
“Want to challenge the leadership of this country to rise up and save the democracy that it is in the universities, “he added.
There is absence of public representation in the delegates system and they do not trust it. He urged all youths in the country to wake up and demand for one comrade one vote and politicians will not misuse them.