*By John Gwambo*

Disclaimer: This article represents my opinion and not the position of DekuTrends.

The fact is that tribe as a basic unit in politics is alive and kicking in DEKUT as far as governance and leadership is concerned in the Student Council Body. Campaigns are based on ethnic census among comrades, on which community has the largest number of students in the institution rather than ideas and policies. Through this comrades have for the longest time possible been starved of services as these tribal kingpins who masquerade as leaders come out every electioneering period to offer vague political pronouncements. The ‘’leaders’’ have succeeded rather paradoxically to create an enabling environment for tribalism to thrive, in fact they have made it the rule rather than an exception.

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During the political seasons the aspiring candidates retire back to their tribal cocoons to lobby support, because the cartels who happen to come from communities with the largest number of students in the University always ask a simple question in order for them to support one who is not their own, how many pure breed delegates from your tribe do you have? This has made it almost impossible for candidates from minority tribes to thrive in Kimathi politics no matter how smart you are. The delegates system was a good idea until the aspiring candidates in collaboration with their respective tribal organizations hijacked the whole process from the time when one applies for the position, through the campaigns to when one is elected in office hence there exist a tribal bond between successful delegates and aspiring candidates for student leadership positions from their respective tribes.

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In a nutshell, Kimathi politics have been captured by individuals with no interest in longtime safety and welfare of comrades. Rather, they are guided by personal interest like benefiting from school canteen, securing DEKUTSO bursary meant for comrades from humble background for their close friends including and not limited to money laundering from potential aspirants. Only a foolish comrade can afford the luxury of forgetting how last year’s election was marred with ethnic emotions instigated by the tribal warlords that almost threatened the peaceful coexistence of comrades within the institution. The result was that some incompetent individuals managed to ascend to student leadership positions and are so far about to leave behind an obliterated legacy with empty rhetoric and slaying around with a bunch of slay queens.

If a leader struggles to explain his/her achievements at the end of his/her term then he has completely failed in his mandate. A good leader should let his/her action speak for itself. This year’s election is not an exception with the most incompetent and egocentric individuals running the political show but branding themselves as political strategists. The individuals take the advantage of the largest number of comrades from their tribes with nothing to offer but perpetuating the agenda of tribal division. The clueless individuals hawk fear and chest thump around calling themselves political geniuses while looking for candidates jostling for student leadership positions to trade lump sum money with delegates. This has ended up discouraging ambitious comrades with clarity of mind and vision who could not raise up to a hundred thousand hence they opted to settle for candidates whom they happen to share the same tribe with rendering the coming election noncompetitive.

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In effect we comrades have to unite and forge our own political agenda in order to ensure not only unity but the kind of politics that will give us a pride of place among the universities in Kenya. Unity will play a key role going forward in ensuring that comrades are immune from the wild political shenanigans of tribalism. Comrades require accountability from leaders they elect in office if not an obligated legacy, this is the kind of politics that will help improve the lifestyle of comrades in the institution. Life and experience have taught us one thing about democracy, government of the people, by the people and for the people which we say in remembrance of Abraham Lincoln, that when people do not know what they want, the government they help create is nothing but a confederation of fools.

In our unguarded moments we comrades behave as if we are immune to tribalism that this has really affected us because issues that only require unity and speaking in one voice to be solved take us time to be realized. In conclusion our democracy should not be a subject of manipulation by cartels, let each one of us champion for proper governance and leadership with modern democratic dispensation.

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