1. Who is Alex Njuguna?
Alex Njuguna aka Chief is a Catholic Christian. A fourth year student pursuing Bsc EEE. I always describe myself using the origin of my name as it best describes me. The name Alex means provider, protector and server of man. I guess that is why I always find myself in various leadership positions which require service to the people.
2. Which are the leadership positions have you held in DeKUT so far?
I have been a class representative from first year to date. I am also the current EEE Departmental Representative. I was also voted in as Delegate when I was in first year. I really thank my class and the department as a whole for supporting me during the elections.
I have also held the office of the Electoral Commission of Kimathi as a commissioner during the 2019 elections under the great leadership of Kevin Rono – the Chairperson.
Lastly, I am the co-founder and Club Chairperson of the DeKUT Teknocrats Club (DTC). It’s an innovative club that will soon revitalize the EEE industry in Kenya.
3. Elections are coming up and ECK positions have already been advertised. Tell us about your experience in the Electoral Commission
The ECK was amazing. It was a bit challenging as one had to strike a balance between the involving tasks of the commission and academic work. But we thank God we had a successful free, fair and transparent election.
4. How transparent was the ECK in its processes? Which measures did the commission take towards accountability and integrity?
Transparency is a key principle for a credible election. Each step was open for scrutiny by the various stakeholders (the candidates, agents and voters) who verified that the process was conducted according to the set procedures and that no irregularities occurred.
5. Tell us more about agents in the Kimathi election scene.
An agent is an individual who observes the elections on behalf of the candidates. The role of the agent is to scrutinize the election process and point out any malpractices that may arise. The agents are chosen by the candidates and they have to fill in an agent’s form. This form will be their pass into the polling stations.
6. What is your work as a departmental representative and how did you get to be one?
My job is to forward the requests, views, complaints or compliments from the students and other class representatives to the Chair of Department. I am also tasked with the responsibility of sharing any information or news from the department with the students. I also perform any other tasks assigned to me by the department.
7. Could you give us an idea of the voter turnout in the delegate elections.
The turnout was great. Most students practiced their democratic rights. However, since the 2017 cohort in the School of Business were doing their industrial attachment and were therefore away from the campus, quite a number didn’t vote. This will hopefully be corrected by the online voting system that the university is planning to implement.
8. You’ve been a delegate, an electoral commissioner and a class rep. What do you think about the DeKUT political scene?
Our campus politics are not so different from national politics. However, I think DeKUT should adopt the KU political party system. The aspirants should form political parties where the seven candidates work together as a team. This may help to reduce tribalism during the elections.
9. How would you assess the current student leadership? What have they gotten right and what could they have done better?
Every government has their strengths and weaknesses. The current council has faced many challenges, the main one being the Covid19 pandemic. I will however refrain from answering the question.
Then perhaps you will answer the question: Why do you refrain from commenting on the student leadership?
Whether I praise or criticize them, lazima kutakuwa na political drama. So let me remain impartial.
10. You mentioned that you co-founded the Teknocrats Club. What is it about? Teknocrats Club is an innovative club formed to come up with technological solutions to modern day problems. We have two main teams: The Hardware Team and the Software Team. We have come up with various projects during this covid19 pandemic.
The projects include: automatic hand sanitizer, UV disinfectant chamber,
Covid 19 website with daily test results updates just to mention a few.
Tell us more about one of these projects.
Let me tell you about the automatic hand sanitizer. It is equipped with a sensor such that when one puts their hand close to the gadget, the device ejects a sanitizer onto the person’s hands.
The device is also equipped with a temperature sensor which takes the person’s temperature. If it is below 38, the person is allowed into the building. If it is above 38, a buzzer sounds an alarm to notify the security officer nearby. I have to mention Kelvin Newton and Peter Mwangi for their great input into actualizing the project.
11. What do you love most about DeKUT?
The timely completion of studies. I also happen to like the Graduate Assistant Master’s program and international exchange programs which I was lucky enough to be part of one.
12. Tell us briefly about your student exchange program.
The former Dean SoE Dr. Ngetha managed to help me secure a three month exchange program to Gifu University, Japan. Conducting research in such a technologically developed country really opened my mind. The research was deep and intense as I even remember spending a night or two in the laboratory. In Japan, the lecturers and students have a good friendly relationship which helps the students to freely interact with their lecturers. This makes the learning environment fun and comfortable.
13. Given the opportunity, what would you change about DeKUT?
Under the great leadership of Prof. Kioni, DeKUT has taken great strides and he has managed to put DeKUT on the map. However, the tribal student council politricks in Kimathi have greatly undermined the comrades power. The division has led all comrades to face many difficulties for example the issues on increased rent, increased first year fees among others. With unity, our voices can be heard and together we can bring positive change.
14. What are your leadership ambitions?
At the moment I will not disclose any ambitions that I may have. However, my goal in any leadership position is to retire from the seat having left people in awe saying ‘I want to be just like him’. I also want to leave the seat having mentored someone to become better than I was. One main reason as to why Kenya is not advancing as fast as it is supposed to is the lack of proper mentorship. With mentorship, we will have visionary leaders at a young age who have the energy to steer our country in the right direction.
15. Apart from school stuff, what else are you involved in?
I am a volunteer in the Green Globe CBO, which is a community based organization formed by the youth from my neighborhood. It educates on the importance of recycling and we even have a monthly clean up. We also do DIYs from recycled plastic, including sofa sets, beds, ottoman chairs, clocks and various house decor. Here are the links to our website and our Instagram page.
16. What’s your parting shot?
DeKUT is a great university that has a lot of opportunities if one keeps their eyes open. For example, the upcoming science park will create many opportunities for DeKUT students and recent graduates.