Rioting varsity students burn Sonu offices
Protests over the results of Students Organization of Nairobi University (Sonu) elections contained three days after the conclusion of the disputed exercise.
The protesting students set ablaze Sonu offices on Monday as the elections which saw incumbent chairman, Paul Ongili, being announced winner for the fourth time, continued to divide the student fraternity at the institution.
The strike had been publicised over the weekend by a group of students opposed to Ongili’s re-election. They accused the chairman-elect of rigging the elections so as to continue misappropriating union funds.
Ongili, popularly known as Babu Owino, has been the Sonu chairman since 2014 after he made a comeback having headed the union back in 2011.
However, Ongili, who enrolled for a second degree in law after completing his Actuarial Science course, has blamed one of his opponents, Mike Jacobs, for the ongoing unrest.
“We won the elections fairly and I am the dully elected chairman of the union. Those protesting are supporters of the candidate who came in fourth, one Mike Jacobs, yet the other contestants who came second (Firaj Mohammed) and third (Moses Kariuki) have already congratulated me,” Ongili told Nairobi News in an interview.
Kariuki, a third year Political Science student, however denied that he congratulated the incumbent saying that he is unhappy with the results as well.
“There was a lot of rigging and hooliganism in favour of Babu. The staff and student commissioners were also compromised. Those protesting include my supporters and those of other candidates who are tired of the union administration. We will stay put until the election results are nullified,” he told Nairobi News.
Mike Jacob’s running mate, Mercy Kilel, said that Babu’s administration has done nothing for the students hence the protests.
“Those protesting are just tired of Babu’s administration which has been misappropriating union funds. It is not because Mike Jacobs and I have told them to take to the streets but they just demanding for a change of administration,” said Ms Kilel.
Last week, the students protested within the CBD calling for Babu not to vie in this year’s union elections, pleas that seemingly fell on deaf ears.