IT IS TIME, UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE

A classical Review of the failed Delegative Democracy in Kenyan Universities, using MKU SoL as the case study.

Universal suffrage can be widely defined as the right of every eligible person to cast their vote during an election. In context of university politics, it means that any student who is dully registered has a right to directly elect their leaders in student government without having any representatives to vote on their behalf. On the other end, delegative democracy gives power to selected representatives to cast votes on behalf of the larger constituents.

For many years, one man , one vote also known as universal suffrage was the mode of conducting elections until one time when it was noted that cases of hooliganism, goonmanship and chaos had rocked these elections leading to massive losses in property. It was at this time, through a parliamentary amendment that it was decided that in order to reduce these cases of high octane politics, he best way was to bring on board delegative voting system. Without appearing sentimental, I find is move synonymous to that of treating a running stomach through blocking the anus. Why do I say so? The main reason that caused violence was the sham elections that entertained massive rigging and if a solution was to be found, then it ought to have been aimed at increasing the transparency of elections.

By introducing the delegative system, no problem was cured at all. Instead, the thorn in the flesh was only amplified. Look, how many times have we heard about candidates buying the delegates? I therefore prepared scenarios that clearly point at the innefectivity of the delegates system, and the need to revet to the old universal suffrage.

Delegative system has killed the spirit of comradeship. Traditionally, campus politics has been the incubator of national politics. Through high octane political campaigns, the young fellas learnt how to manouvre the stressfull and unfair grounds of national politiocs. However, the delegative system now means that campus politics have shifted to dimly lit kibandas iin town where aspirants tend to bid with the delegates promising them all tenders if voted in. No wonder no high rising politician has been produced since the advent of this unpractical democracy.

Promising but economically challenged politicians cannot ascend to power. Guys, let us accept it, the delegative system is based on the principle of whoever pays the piper calls the tune. In this age and time when most comrades have intense economical needs, the delegates will not resist to be bribed by the rich contenders who they end up paying. This has seen contenders without deep pockets being pushed to political oblivion. Campus politics is no longer about objectivity or agenda but who can pour money to the delegates. This has completely destroyed the level playing field and fair play rules.

Delegative system has given the administration to choose puppets. With this new system, the schools have found a way of controlling and taming students politics. The once vibrant and aggressive student unions are now nothing but mouthpieces of varsity administration. Student leaders have also gone into deep slumber with the administration in order to receive crumbs and kickbacks. This is a mediocrity that could not be witnessed in the universal suffrage.

Delegative system has proven since its inception four years ago to produce incompetent leaders. Traditionally, campus politics was colored by activists and revolutionaries. The current crop under this delegative system are weaklings, men and women who cannot face issues head on. The student leaders of these days no longer have the interests of the comrades at heart, because if anything, they were voted in by the the worst representatives.

All these reasons, plus many more convince me that the only way that the students will get their voice back is through the re-introduction of one man, one vote also known as universal suffrage. It is unfair, it is juvenile, it is in the worst spirit possible to put the future and representation of the comrades in the hands of a few and the delegative system has proven to be ineffective in the Kenyan campuses immensely.

By Lincoln Oyugi

Just as Isaac Newton died a virgin, I'll die a writer!

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