September 21, 2020

Political Elites Influence Campus Politics, COASTA Secretary General Claims

Coast Region Students Association Secretary General Edwin Shamir. He claims that political leaders influence politics in universities and colleges. Image; Peter Kombe

BY PETER KOMBE

Coast Region Students Association COASTA has accused politicians on claims of funding politics in universities and colleges.

Speaking to The Coast Newspaper in Mombasa on Tuesday, COASTA Secretary General Edwin Shamir raised concern on the huge budgets by students seeking elective posts in institutions of higher learning.

The SG further estimates that presidential aspirants in campuses inject well over Ksh 1.2 million throughout their campaigns.

“Where do they get all this money from? It is true this money comes from politicians. This is because they want to exercise their political influence over the elected student leaders,” he explained.

According to him, leaders in campuses including the president and the cabinet secretaries are directly controlled by political elites who he claims seek their own gains.

 “Most of the students vying for top seats in universities and colleges aspire to join the national political league,” Shamir said.

He wants students to conduct campus campaigns within their budgets instead of being influenced by the political class.

Meanwhile, Agneta Ingutia Kenyatta University Congress Lady says most ladies elected in campuses undergo a myriad of challenges.

She notes that they (ladies) are normally sidelined in decision making processes in their institutions.

“Those of us who are elected become powerless. It is true that national politicians fund aspirants during campus campaigns,” Ingutia said.

A student from one of the technical colleges in Mombasa County who spoke on condition of anonymity vying for a presidential seat says there is need for student leaders to operate within their budgets.

The student however refuted claims that he is financed by politicians in steering his campus campaign trail.

“I get my campaign money from parents and my own sources of income. My budget is about ksh 35,000,” the student noted. 

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