PRESS STATEMENT BY THE SONU ALUMNI FORUM ON THE UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI CRISIS
15TH MAY 2016
- We are the SONU alumni forum. This forum has over 75 members cutting across many generations of UoN alumni. We are motivated to speak on the ongoing UoN crisis by a deep sense of responsibility to protect the reputation of the University of Nairobi as a beacon of freedom and dignity. We are in full solidarity with current UoN students and their noble pursuit to attain an education that bolsters their freedom of conscience and expression.
- We are greatly shocked by the unfolding events at the University of Nairobi since the 2016 SONU elections held on 1st The unfolding crisis stands in total contrast to the University of Nairobi that we have known and identified with.
- Today we have 58 students who remain suspended and expelled from the university for completely unjustifiable reasons. Some of the reasons the university has suspended students include protesting the outcome of the SONU 2016 elections whose outcome , many of them deemed fraudulent. Protesting the outcome of a student election does not warrant a suspension or expulsion.
- It is worrying that the university has greatly lowered the threshold for suspending and expelling students. Punishment has been transformed into an instrument of intimidation , subjugation and oppression to chain students in fearful obedience against a multitude of grievances.
- We therefore demand that ALL students suspended or expelled in connection with the SONU 2016 ELECTIONS be reinstated immediately and unconditionally to continue with their studies.
- We wish to further ask the Vice-chancellor of the University of Nairobi to allow a genuine process of dialogue and reconciliation among all parties to the SONU elections dispute. Only a genuine dialogue founded on truth, justice and mutual respect will catalyze a return to normalcy at the University of Nairobi
- We believe that the students union SONU requires urgent but genuine student – led constitutional reforms to ensure that management of student affairs is accountable and transparent. Honest and lasting reforms at SONU should preceded by true reconciliation.
- The University of Nairobi should allow students all the constitutional rights guaranteed by the Kenyan constitution including freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and association. Students must not be punished for demonstrating peacefully.
- A pro-student approach must be undertaken to rehabilitate students who may be experiencing substance misuse problems. We would also want to appeal for a proper medical and psychological rehabilitation for students alleged to have been assaulted by police officers during the April 2016 protests.
- We are disappointed that despite having forwarded similar proposals to the university on 4th May 2016 no response has been forthcoming. We are allowing a further window period of 48 hours for the University of Nairobi management to act on our proposals failure to which we will be obliged to take alternative measures to have the suspended and expelled students reinstated.
SONU ALUMNI FORUM.