Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is the future really here?

On the 10th of March 2009, students of the University of Nairobi held a demonstration across the Central Business District in protest of the murders of Oscar Kamau King’ara and John Paul Oulu (GPO, a student) of the Oscar Foundation that took place right in the campus grounds. These murders are alleged to be linked to the Mungiki Sect and are also alleged to have been committed by a unit of the police force. This among many other extra-judicial killings alleged to have been carried out by this unit motioned the demonstrators to chanting the now clarion call that has been echoed by members of Civil Society, “Ali Must Go!”. Major General Hussein Ali is the Police Commissioner of the Kenya Police.

They took the opportunity to also voice their protest on the several issues that have tainted the 'Grand Coalition's' governance of the state.

Contrary to the history of SONU(Students' Organization of Nairobi University) demonstrations, this one was a relatively peaceful protest save for the few incidents by rogue demonstrators towards the end of the march.

We -and I believe I speak with the majority of the student population- are deeply unsatisfied by the actions of our political leaders under whose authority we placed our beloved country only to be damned by tales of grand corruption, impunity and even murder!


Mystery Shopper said...

Very interesting blog.

I have to disagree with you when you talk of the demo being largely peaceful.

In the eyes of the ordinary mwananchi, this was just another student riot with stoning, harassment and looting.

I was actually following live witness accounts and apparently, the students went out of their way to incite the chaos..stoning cars, police etc.

I find that tragic and I find the attitude of the students to what happened inexcusable.

The student leaders guaranteed a peaceful protest. The fact that it degenerated into chaos, and they then shrug their shoulders and blame it on 'rogue elements' or 'outsiders' is just another example of people not taking responsibility for what they do.

It was up to the students to conduct their protest peacefully and to ensure that no rogue elements were allowed to cause any chaos. Maybe the student 'leaders' should have instituted a buddy system where the protesters are split into smaller groups that stick together during the protest to ensure no 'outsiders' infiltrate and to keep tabs and easily identify any 'rogues' or done something..anything else to make absolutely sure this protest would be peaceful.

This protest was very important and very significant for the students to show that they could peacefully exercise their democratic right to protest. They failed to do so and they therefore have lost all credibility with the rest of the populace.

Obie said...

@Mystery Shopper

I'd beg you to look at how far we've come. This past demonstration's incidences of violence are a far-cry from past demonstation-related violence/rioting done by University students.

This one, I think, was a step in the right direction, bearing in mind that the student leadership did condemn the acts of hooliganism that took place on the 10th of March, regardless of whoever commited them. Previously, the student leaders were at the fore-front of the acts of hooliganism and looting.

I am, infact, ashamed that I did not take part in the protest march for fear of violence but however followed closely through correspondence.

I am sure that next time round will even see the violence diminish further. Thank you though for your opinion though.