The Social Democratic Party (Marxist) of Kenya has given its support to the protest of University of Nairobi students against the imposition of a stooge as students’ union president, by management. In a press statement issued by the party Benedict Wachira, the party General Secretary after the April 5 protest and closure of the school, the context of collaboration between the right-wing puppets and the school authorities, thus:
“For a long time now, the University administration in connivance with students’ organization officials has been mismanaging millions of shillings from the students’ union kitty, since the financial scrutiny over those funds is not as strict as those operated within other structures of the universities. Usually, contribution to the Union is a mandatory part of the school fees. UoN for instance collects about thirty million Kenya shillings every year (This may explain why the UoN administration was quick to swear-in the students, probably out of an established financial abuse relationship that had been in place since the previous year.)”
These officials have maintained their hold on power for years, with the backing of the school authorities on one hand and the use of thugs to scare normal students on the other. But the students believed that enough is enough and refused to allow the blatant rigging of the right-wing “leaders” back to power, despite the presence of their thugs.
The police were drafted in by the Vice Chancellor professor Peter Mbithi. They killed one of the protesting students and committed several other atrocities. As Comrade Wachira pointed out: “The Government of Kenya, the University Council and Vice Chancellor must take full responsibility for the death of the student that the police killed, the students that the police raped, the electronics and money that the police stole and the violence that the police meted out on the unarmed students”.
The fires of struggle in University of Nairobi students has been rekindled and will not be doused. The authorities must be brought to book for the murder, rape and robbery perpetuated by the police. This must be a first step towards a renewal of the students’ movement in Kenya.
Every generation as Frantz Fanon stated must discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it. The current generation of students in Africa as a whole must rise up united, to fight against the oppression on campuses and the capitalist system that fosters it in the broader society. Thus, will the youth of today fulfil their historic mission, marching besides the working class to bring to birth a new Africa and indeed, a new world.
by Segun Ogun