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Proposed law limits varsity student leaders to two years in office

University student representatives will only hold office for a maximum of two terms if a government-backed Bill seeking to tame ‘career student leaders’ becomes law.

The Universities (Amendment) Bill, 2015 by Majority Leader Aden Duale sets the term of office at one year.

“Members of the student council shall hold office for a term of one year and may be eligible for re-election for one further term,” states the Bill.

The Commission for University Education (CUE) told the National Assembly Committee on Education the new law will restore sanity in student leadership in public universities.


A spate of unrest has been witnessed in public universities over the recent past, most of which have been linked to disputed election results of the student bodies.

Early this month, the University of Nairobi was closed after students protested re-election of Babu Owino for a fourth time as the Sonu chairman.

Chuka University in Tharaka-Nithi County was also indefinitely closed in February following student unrest over disputed election of their union.

Last week, six MPs petitioned the government to form a taskforce to investigate the wave of unrest in public universities even as Education Secretary Fred Matiang’i maintained his ministry will not get involved in operations of governing councils in universities.

Led by Mkurueini MP Kabando wa Kabando, the MPs demanded that the taskforce be constituted between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Interior within 30 days.


Other universities that have been closed within this month are the UoN, Masinde Muliro and Laikipia.

The MPs said the student unrest is linked to issues of nepotism, corruption, drug trafficking, alcoholism among other ills in the public universities.

Dr Matiang’i seems to have been taken a back seat in the recent spate of unrest, something that is not sitting well with the legislators.

“There is need for unreserved intervention on the matter and Dr Matiang’i should make quick recommendations,” said Mr Kabando.