Law imposes term limits on university student leaders

Sonu leader Babu Owino. A new law allows a university student leader to hold office for one term and seek re-election only once. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A university student leader will hold office for a one-year term and be eligible for re-election only once.

The 2016 Universities (Amendment) Act signed by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month also disqualifies a person who has served as a member of the student council of a university for two terms from being elected to the same position at any other university in Kenya.

The Act effectively blocks from re-election perennial student leaders such as Paul Ongili, alias Babu Owino, who has been at the helm of the Students Organisation of Nairobi University (Sonu) since 2010.

“Every students association shall in consultation with the university, formulate and enact rules to govern the conduct of elections including regulation of campaigns, election financing, offences and penalties,” states the Act.

Last year, a dispute over Sonu elections led to destruction of property at the University of Nairobi.