Egerton University soon will join other universities in voting through the delegate system as required by the Duale bill, but even so what was expected to be a peaceful transition has now turned into chaotic and messy campaigns with some top candidates resorting to trading abuses and even threatening each other on social media.
On the 25TH March 2019 which was the deadline of returning nomination papers, we sent our team to the main campus in Njoro to cross examines the situation and they realized that there were four candidates who submitted their nomination papers in contention for the University’s top seat among them Araka Godfrey, Dan Otieno, Kirum Boniface and Byron Abiero.
Our team was able to establish that the bone of contention all started when the outgoing chairman Silas Makokha endorsed his close ally Mercy Kirwa for the post of vice chair. Unconfirmed reports indicate that the said lady is a girlfriend to Makokha. A close confidant reported to us that the duo has since moved into staying in a two bedroom house in Janda Plaza located just outside the school’s main gate.
The University’s current constitution requires that if the presidential candidate is from the main campus then he/ she should pick a running mate from one of their satellite campuses either town campus or City campus and vice versa. The man who is alleged to have begun the whole saga was a presidential candidate before stepping down to challenge his fellows in the post of secretary general. Identified as Otty William, it is said that he is the one who first began the slogan sexually transmitted politics targeting the outgoing chair’s girlfriend Mercy Kirwa. Our calls to him went unanswered as we tried to get more facts from him over the saga.
A top political associate within the university’s politics informed us that negotiations between Makokha and Araka Godfrey to have Mercy Kirwa as the running mate broke down the last minute as Araka’s secret spies revealed that she was being used as a trap to lock him out since there was already a deal in place to have Byron as her flag bearer
We were lucky to meet the chairman, Makokha for a one on one conversation and he seriously downplayed the allegations clearly saying he had no affair with the said lady. He went on to add that he was requesting Boniface Kirum and his team to avoid fueling propaganda before knowing his fate about nomination because of the integrity issues overshadowing him, he declined to comment further about them when we requested him to do so.
We can confirm that the lady in question later teamed up with one Byron Abiero to contest for the top seat. The duo’s ambition was further shadowed by images displayed to us showing Byron cooking in the school’s Buru Buru hostels against the school rules which could put his clearance to run for office at stake. When we reached him for comment, he accepted to be the one cooking but said that was during his first year and he has since reformed to a better person, he seriously protested against the allegations that the mattress in his house had been smuggled out of the university saying that was ill-meant to taint his strong ambitions to lead the university to better levels. Even though, he bitterly expressed his concerns over Kirum Boniface and his team saying that their style of politics was back ward and immature. He further expressed his concerns about his security stating several threats from unknown people.
On his running mate, Byron said that she was an ambitious lady full of leadership qualities, even though he acknowledged that the two were dating, he said that could not hinder her from leading since the constitution did not forbid it.
Boniface Kirum refuted all the allegations against him when we managed to reach him for comments, when we asked him about the allegations of mishandling cash meant for the school gym and even cash meant for his fellow body builders, whether he was worried if this could hinder clearance, he replied calmly saying people should let the electoral commission do its work. However he declined to comment about the consequences of being cleared because he once served a suspension from school which is highlighted in the EUSA constitution.
He was quick to comment about Mercy Kirwa saying that he was purely against the idea of Makokha endorsing his girlfriend for the seat of VC. He went on to confirm that the two were dating and its true they had moved in together at the earlier said residence, about his competitors, Kirum said he only recognized Godfrey Araka as the only competitor he had in the race and one among the two of them could take over from the failed regime of Makokha. He seriously castigated the leadership of his foe saying that he was ashamed being Makokha’s chief financier and campaigner when he rose to power.
We later caught up with Dan Otieno who is also a competitor in the race, the outgoing faculty of science congress is shadowed with issues over embezzling of funds, he is accused of registering new members to his association at an abnormal fees of ksh 400 instead of the standard ksh 150, it was also alleged that he embezzled the funds when he organized a modelling event dubbed Mr. and Miss science, its alleged that he ended up paying a popular artist more than 80, 000 to grace the event something the associations constitution does not allow.
When requested to comment about the issues, Dan was quick to defend himself saying the registration fee was clearly highlighted in the constitution, he also distanced himself from the said event saying that he was not part of the organizing committee and he had too complained over the same but we able to establish that he was actively involved in organizing the event.
According to Dan, he only recognized Araka as his competitor but was so sure to win the race.
Our five hours wait for Godfrey Araka was almost going in vain, he arrived in style with a fleet of cars accompanied by men in black few minutes to the closure of nomination deadline, when we tried to talk to him he directed to his closeaid who declined our request to interview him saying they were heading for a meeting in town.
Our patience paid as we were able to talk to him at around 8 PM, he declined to comment on Mercy Kirwa’s issues and said he did not at any time negotiate with her over becoming a running mate, he was neither willing to comment about the sexually transmitted politics issue saying he did not recognize it as a determining factor in the race. He also added that he was not aware if Kirwa was dating Makokha
His other close ally said that team Araka was sober and only minded their campaigns adding that they were sure about victory.
Asked about his general remarks about the race, Araka said he recognized everybody as a competitor and his team is doing all they can to win the race.
Our news bench has learnt that Araka had minimal integrity issues being a new comer into the game and had not served there before.
With shortlisting expected anytime within this week and delegates elections slated for 16th april, our news team will be keeping a close eye on the progress of the elections to update you