PRESIDENT, MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL OF LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
It is a cloudy Tuesday morning. I make my way into The Mount Kenya University , Law Campus in Parklands Nairobi. I walk straight to the office of the students’ President in the Basement of the gigantic MKU Law Complex. After knocking, the ever smiling Jesse Saruni ushers me into his office. A quick glance introduces me to trophies and awards that punctuate this office. With this, I confirm that indeed, this is a working leader. He has his potrait in the wall alongside that of the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta. After a cup of hot coffee, we get down to business where he narrates to me about his reign as the president of the students of School of Law, Parklands MKU campus. His golden chains and strong, pleasant and overpowering cologne occasionally disrupt my concentration. He has a well kempt hair, a three piece blue suit, not forgetting his very conspicuous watch. This is indeed a president of lawyers. His dapper style shouts it. We quickly emerse ourselves into the interview, and here it is.
TO START WITH, WHO ARE YOU?
My name is Jesse Saruni, a Kenyan citizen residing in Nairobi. I was born in Narok. I started my earlier schooling in a local primary school called Masikonde Primary School in Narok before joining Gilgil Hills Academy. I later on enrolled at Molo Academy where I cleared my primary school education. I did go through all these schools to get different experiences, having been born in a pastrolist community that moved in search of green pastures from time to time, my movements were akin to the pastrolists looking for greener pastures. Later on, I proceeded to Koelel Secondary School in Gilgil for my secondary school education. I have been engaged in several community service activities involving charity and social enterprises. I have initially been involved at USAID Afya Plus as a youth leader leading peer education throughout Kenya. I have also been a master trainer in other initiatives rooting for behavior change among the young people, the most notable being The Shuga Initiative which was supported by Hollywood power star Lupita Nyongo. Therefore, my background shines community work and engagements. I am an entrepreneur. I am the current President of The School of Law, Mount Kenya University, Parklands Law Campus.
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO VENTURE INTO STUDENTS POLITICS?
I have always been a leader, even though initially I have been leading from within the circles and at the background without much public glare or notoriety. However, the comrades (fellow students) of the Law Campus urged me to run and be on the frontline of student politics. They believed that I have the voice to represent their interests. Indeed, they say the voice of the people is the voice of God, with the famous phrase Vox Populi, Vox Dei, I followed the voice of the people and declared my candidature fo the school presidency. And because I was backed by the people, I won with massive landslide, winning 25 votes out of the 27 total votes cast by the delegates (electoral college).
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE DURING YOUR PRESIDENCY?
I have achieved almost my entire manifesto, a manifesto that was formulated by my fellow students. Some of my achievements include bringing back the Mount Kenya University Moot Court to life again. My government has found ways to motivate students to take part in law firms and moot court competitions. I have also increased the social integration among the students. It is the first time you can see a Diploma students engaging Bachelor Degree students. I am very happy with this interactions because it is from these networks that these future lawyers will form leading law firms and even find life partners. I hold this to be my biggest achievement. I like seeing comrades socialize. In my tenure, I have revamped the Students cafeteria with top notch furniture and fittings. My team has also reduced the food prices in the school cafeteria. The quality of food is also very good and comrades are already fattening. Our school is located next to the busiest road in the country, that is Thika Super Highway and therefore there has been a lot of noise pollution from the road. However, during my time, I have brought in sound proof systems to prevent the pollution. Many people thought this was not achievable, but look, who’s laughing now? I have also renovated the students centre. You will agree with me that lawyers are the most sophisticated class of humans, and upcoming lawyers deserve nothing but class, therefore when I got to power, I pushed for the renovation of the area where lawyers come to catch some breather. The place now has comfortable chairs, unlimited WIFI, pool area, and a 24 hours Screen Set. That is the only way to prepare upcoming lawyers on the opulence waiting for them out there so that they do not suffer from culture shock. I really think it will be a difficult task to mention all my achievements in a single interview but lest I forget, I have also overseen the biggest Cultural Week ever seen at this campus. Most people think lawyers are only book worms but I was able to demystify that when I led a week long cultural activities which brought out MKU lawyers as classic and trendy. This was very colorful.
YOU ARE A LAW STUDENT, WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS WITH YOUR DEGREE?
To say the least, Law in Kenya is very advanced and among the most advanced in the commonwealth countries and those countries practicing the common law system. Kenyan jurisprudence is knowm worldwide with the local precedences being applied world over. This is also the most detailed course within any academia as it covers all aspects of life from medicine through to technology and even economics and it is a course that someone must feel great doing. Therefore, I would be glad to practice what I love most. I would love to litigation Law.
I have deep interests in political and business leadership, but let us cross the bridge when we get there.
A WORD TO YOUNG LEADERS?
I would encourage them to go for it. Let them be real and listen to the people. Any leader must connect with the people. A leader should listen and understand their constituents.
KENYA IS GETTING INTO THE ELECTIONEERING PERIOD, LEAVE A WORD TO YOUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN
I urge all Kenyans who have attained the majority age to register as voters. I am worried by the fact that a lot of young people have expressed a desire not to vote in the General Elections, not knowing that through boycotting the elections, they indirectly vote for pathetic leadership. So I urge every person who can vote to register and take part in their civic rights.
WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
First of all, it is very difficult for me to get a free time now that I am almost finishing my degree. Most of my time is taken up with research work and thoughts about my dissertation. Anyways, once in a while, I hang out with friends watching football and Formula One.
This is Ugali, meat and Sukuma Wiki ( Kales)
My biggest fear is fear itself. Fear can really clouds your mind. I try to be very courageous, distancing myself with fear as far as possible.
This is Re Union Island in the Indian Ocean
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF YOUR ROMANTIC LIFE?
Without prejudice, it is my desire to answer this question with utmost honesty, however, I find myself without any answer.
Let us all be patient about life, as everything happens during its own desired time.