The Co-operative University of Kenya (CUK) is an outstanding institution of higher learning due to its observance of integrity in democratic leadership. This upholds and anchors the university’s mission of producing competent human capital through quality education, training, research & innovation, and empowering communities through outreach for socio-economic transformation. In CUK, democracy applies to the staff and students who have a significant role in ensuring a streamlined flow of activities through the Student Governing Council (SGC) and an empowered Co-operative University of Kenya Student Union (CUKSU).
Over the past four weeks, the University’s atmosphere and surroundings have been adorned with slogans of great leaders as student contestants for diverse positions in the Congress and SGC engaged in an intellectual exchange of ideologies – “The battle of ideas.” The heightened debates on social media and road show campaigns of the two major parties, The Comrades Alliance (TCA) under the captainship of the incumbent CUK President, Mr Collins Brandon, and The Co-operative Revival Alliance (CRA).
The gala and scuffle for supremacy between these two parties culminated on Wednesday, 8th March 2023 Delegate and SGC Elections, where they flexed their political muscles at virtually equal power dividing the delegate’s votes into symmetrical halves. The presidential position attracting all students’ attention was hotly contested between Timothy Saruni of TCA and Amos Kamotho of CRA, each garnering 12 votes out of the 24 delegates.
The second most senior position in the Co-operative University Student Union (CUKSU), Secretary General, underwent a similar situation, with both competitors securing equal votes. These unique scenarios of vote-tie lessened the tension. These unfamiliar situations made the Chairperson of the CUKSU Electoral Commission, Jeremiah Mugo, announce the winners of the Wednesday 8th elections and declare to announce the re-run election dates within seven calendar days as guided by Chapter five article 28 of the CUKSU Constitution.
The winners of the contested posts were Victor Onyango Juma for Finance Secretary, Francis Musyoka Daniel for Social Welfare and Co-curricular Activities, Caroline Wanjiru Kibuchi for Gender and Special Needs Secretary, and Abdullahi A. Salat for Campus Representative. The elected Congress Members and the SGC reflected the face of Kenya and demonstrated the high-held regard for diversity within the institution.
The University maintained its non-partisan position in the students’ elections by ensuring that all Electoral Officials abide by the principles of impartiality. The CUKSU Electoral Commission Chairperson, Jeremiah Mugo, appreciated the efforts and support of the ever-devoted Dean of Students, Dr Lucinda Mugaa. The student elections ran seamlessly; peace, serenity, and jubilation prevailed since the winners embraced their counterparts who lost. “CUK takes pride in the students who have taken the mantle and suited the formation to become the society’s change-makers, taking the responsibility to lead their peers,” expressed (Mrs.) Dr Lucinda.