GARRISA UNIVERSITY TERROR:Is the death of student Activism to blame?

By Orengo Kenya

Article first published on Orengo Kenya’s facebook’s timeline

National insecurity in the Jubilee government has reached a point where it can now be officially declared national disaster with a rescue and contingency fund. It would be improper to begin this discussion without expressing my deepest condolences to the 147 Kenyans left to defend themselves in the hands on Jihadists who are related and known to the high and mighty in the Jubilee Government.
My line of thinking in the last few days has taken me to my days at the mighty University of Nairobi, Looking at how those boys and girls were killed, its shows an emerging trend and as much as we want to blame the government, analyst need to look at the current crop of students in our public and private institutions of higher learning. It would be important and informative to a study on their behaviours, attitudes towards life and what they consider important and fun in university life. As Seth Odongo Puts it “there is nothing more to campus life than sex, movies and occasional peeping into lecture halls to see if there could be a complex idea that calls for my physical presence”. What motivates an ordinary student of any Kenyan University? This line of fear I have been having is confirmed when I hear SONU elections focussing on Killing and burying goonship , combative Student elections and making student leadership be like election for the chair person for the Parish Choir or village welfare group. How can the leadership of the oldest political party after be KANU be elected y flower girls and cry babies. How can we elect people who discuss Vera Sidika and expect students to be safe in our Universities? How can people who don’t believe in fighting for anything be part of the leadership of an army of change warriors? This lazy and don’t care attitude and easy going behaviour makes me think of and miss the titanic battle during return SONU 98 just before the 2002 elections and how students engaged on discourse of the methodologies and strategies of returning the mighty students union, I was in 1st year and would attend Kamukunji to Listen to Otieno CD, Michael Koome Mburugu, Murage Njagagua, Charles Opata, Ngesa Ngesa, Fwamba Nc Fwamba, Irungu Kangatta Mbara Ochieng Kennedy, Thomas Mbewa Ndede, Mutuse Muthusi and other big guns. Our dream was to listen to Wafula Buke and Kabando Wa Kabando. How vicious and tactical were the campaigns for example the battle for the SONU chairmanship between Tedd Munovi and Benard Adhiambo Oguwa, the secretary race Between CPA Michael Wanjala and Hon. Ken Obura.
The current generation of University students are trained all the way from primary school that what is important is to pass exams, stay away from trouble and not be associated with activism, violence and politics. What would have been the case if there was Kosovo Garisa University Branch? I walk past some of the students on my way to the Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library and the dick heads are busy talking about Vera Sidika, I don’t know some woman called Hudda and Some Oyier woman who ate and could not pay her bill at Intercon which makes me wonder how university students can resort to discussing Nonstarters whose names never appeared on the Joint Admission Board List.
Going back to the sad story of Garissa University, Kossovo comes to my mind and I wonder how Owiro Karl Marx (RIP) would have reacted in case hall 9 or hall 13 was under attack. I wonder how Apc Awuor Ponge, Washington Sirikal and Harambe Elias Oginga Njoroge Wa Nyayimbo Wuon Josh Gi Alexander Wuonyakisumo K’Orando Nyakwar Ala would react to the clarion call by the ladies in box or even hall 4. What would Oulu Gpo (RIP) have done if Kimberly was attacked like this in Kikuyu Campus, Would Otieno CD, Sam Owuor (RIP) and Fred Ayim have gone down on their belly waiting for the bullets to kill them? What has gone so wrong that University students can be told to sleep on their bellies, hands up and be shot by less than 10 gun men? Who instilled the fear and culture of compliance in these students, what made University Students so scared that they would all lie down and wait for their death. Where did the phrase “Better die on your feet than on your knees “disappear to among the university students?
The government of Kenya needs to look at the option of making as much Kenyans as possible defiant, militarized and combative. As a nation we have to move away from creating a society of zombies who comply and follow orders, we must build a society that can demand for better and reject oppression, we must demand for a society that have something that they wish to fight and die for, a society that has the confidence and courage to stand and be counted and not a conforming and obedient society

The writer is a former Organizing Secretary of the Student Organization of Nairobi University(SONU)

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