University Student politics has a long and rich history in Kenya. Most of the student leaders have ended becoming political leaders in later life. The likes of James Orengo, Ababu Namwamba, Kabando Wa Kabando, Isaac Ruto, Anyang’ Nyong’o, Mwandawiro Mghanga, Hassan Omar Hassan, Moses Kajwang, Justin Muturi just to mention a few of the long list in Kenyayote student leaders archives.
Throughout the 1970s to 1990s no-nonsense student leader’s advocated for national causes, offering power to the opposition government and radicalizing students. The influence of student leaders extended so far that university admins and the government had to employ spies to monitor their activities. One of the student leaders spy unit had a special branch based in Libyan Embassy and controlled by the late Kanyotu.
Kenyayote has got a long history of Kenya student leadership dating from as far as 1970 to date. But today we are going to focus on the top 5 most successful kenyapoliticians who were student leaders and student activists.
1. Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto-He was a supporter and close friend to the first SONU chair Titus Adungosi who died in jail during the Moi regime. As a student activist in the University of Nairobi Isaac Ruto and other student activists were detained for three months in the aftermath of the 1982 coup attempt. His contribution to student politics in Kenya cannot be erased from the walls of history.
2. Mombasa Senator, Hassan Omar Hassan-He was a student leader at Moi University Eldoret. He robustly protested the naming of Moi University after the then Kenya president Moi. Omar Hassan without fear argued that naming Moi University after president Daniel Arab Moi was an insult to democracy. This led to a student protest outside the university. Daniel Arap Moi who was then the president received the news of the protest and ordered through national television for the immediate expulsion of Hassan Omar Hassan who was the Moi University student organization (MUSO) Chairman. Hassan Omar Hassan was also barred from joining any university in Kenya. Hassan later continued his studies in 2002 when the NARC government under Mwai Kibaki took power.
3. National assembly Speaker Justin Muturi-He served as a student leader in University of Nairobi during the Moi regime. While as a student leader Muturi’s room was burnt down in what is alleged to be betrayal to comrades.
4. Siaya Senator James Orengo-He was the SONU chair 1972-1973. He used the student organization to fight for human rights. SONU was banned during his leadership and he was later arrested. After his release, he fled to Tanzania for exile.
5. Budalangi Mp Ababu Namwamba– He served as Head of the Council of Students’ Union 1996-1997 in University of Nairobi. There is very little we could to get about Ababu Namwamba but we will update this post once our research team gets more info
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