Gibson Kiplangat
Written by Gibson Kiplangat
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There are certain cliques of students in all

public universities who call themselves

the ‘elders’ of campus politics. These

cliques are predominantly made up of

the students in the senior levels of

study (3rd and 4th years). The so

called campus elders are cliques that

determine who to endorse for the

various elective positions of the

Students’ Governing Councils (SGCs).

They determine who vies for what seat,

whom to give the tribal numbers and

backing, who ‘steps down’ for whom,

whom to oppose, who to give their

‘blessing’, and lastly, when to strike

deals among themselves in order to

gain the tribal numbers (or ethnic

majority) to support their endorsed

‘project’.These cliques of campus elders are

constituted on the basis of ethnicity.

The tribes with the bigger number of

students in these universities certainly

do have a certain caucus of students

who declare themselves the

community ‘elders’ for those respective

ethnic groups, and who claim to

influence or determine the direction of

the affairs of those groups within

campus. In JOOUST, for example,

the more prominent campus elders are

for the Kalenjin, Kisii, Luhya, Kikuyu

and Luo communities. The members of

these squadrons are often students

who wield much influence in the

student affairs within their respective


These factions of campus elders are

some of the biggest propagators of

negative ethnicity and tribalism in the university. They are the

proprietors of ethnic-based politics in

the tertiary institutions. They put

themselves on a higher pedestal and

declare themselves the ‘spokespersons’

for their ethnic communities within

these institutions. However, they are

mouthpieces for self-aggrandizement

and possess autocratic

and kleptocratic tendencies. They seek

or endorse candidates for the basis of

self-relevance and self-sustenance at

the expense of majority comrades.

These so called campus elders use

students’ ethnic identity to rubber

stamp their chosen ‘projects’ for

students representative seats, and then

forget about their (students’) plight and

existence.Therefore, all campus students should

think twice before they entertain these campus

elders. They should follow their

conscience, personal choices and

personal critical evaluation of their

preferred candidates. They ought not

to be led by bribes or cash tokens,

sugarcoated words from the SGC

aspirants, or even any undue influence

from the so called campus elders who

always intend to prevail upon the

students’ gullibility in order to endorse

their elective ‘projects’ so that they

can ‘eat’ at the expense of the

majority students..

About the author

Gibson Kiplangat

Gibson Kiplangat

I talk politics, walk politics, think politics, spend 99% of my time on politics. Am liberal, fearless and a man of quick action.


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