SONU was established in 1982 as a central body representing University of Nairobi students, and Tito Adungosi, an audacious undergraduate with immense oratory skills, was it’s first Chairman. The outspoken and radical Adungosi, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for sedition on 24th September 1982, soon after the failed Kenyan military coup of 1st August 1982. He died in prison under mysterious circumstances on 27th December 1988.
Prior to Adungosi and SONU’s reentry as central body representing student interests, several other key figures most of whom rose to omnipresent national personalities arose including Wanyiri Kihoro(1975),James Orengo(1973),Tito Adungosi(1982),Adongo Ogony(1982),Makau Mutua(1981), Paddy Onyango(1982), Rateng’ Oginga Ogego(1982), Mwendawiro Mganga(1985), Wafula Buke (1987),Miguna Miguna(1987),Kabando wa Kabando(1992) Oburu(1993),Kioko (1998),Ted Munovi(2003),Mwengu Mutuse(2003),Ngaruya K J(2004),GPO Oulu(2004) They left behind burgeoning legacies that shine comrades pride to date.
Fwambwa NC Fwamba and Wafula Mbuke have been mentioned in the same breaths of fighting tirelessly for students rights. Fwamba is currently an accomplished civil rights activists agitating for respect for human rights.
Last year, in a surprising move, Antony Manyara was sworn in as the University of Nairobi student chair, without any elections, on a Sunday, and with a pending court order. Antony took over from Babu Owino as UNSA Chairman formerly known as SONU.
The administration and the student elections board indicated that Manyara was sworn as the chair of UNSA because he contested unopposed after some of the candidates were locked out.
In this year’s election,set to be held in April,Maina Mwaura, African Youth Group Director has declared his interest for SONU seat.In recent months Mwaura has been spotted moving long with different strong Mount Kenya Business men and government operatives. Last year, Antony Manyara was supported by Mount Kenya students,a move that saw him triumph. It is more likely that this year, Maina Mwaura is the preferred candidate.
Students have been complaining of the new college system that was effected last year. The University of Nairobi Students Association, UNSA (formerly Sonu) constitution stipulates that the chairman should be elected by the delegates chosen by the students.
This years election is expected to be highly contested after the seating chair Manyara announced that he will vie again.
This year candidates are more careful after what happened last year.Jamal Birkan and Felix Opiyo last year read mischief in the move by the institution to hold the swearing-in on a Sunday and in the absence of other students.
“They stage-managed accusations claiming that I forged documents and that my team is full of thugs. How can only one person qualify to lead about 89,000 students,” posed Opiyo when contacted by hivipunde digital last year.
Opiyo had moved to court seeking orders to stop the election until everyone was allowed to be on the ballot is heard and determined.
Court documents seen by Hivipunde Digital showed that the University and the electoral commission for students association were summoned to appear for an inter-parties hearing on the matter on a day before Manyara was sworn in.
“It is hereby ordered that the ex-parte applicants serve the respondents with the Chamber summons by close of business April 13, 2018 together with hearing notice for inter-parties hearing on April 19, 2018 before Justice John Mativo,” part of the court summons read.
The university has, however, proceeded to conduct the swearing in ceremony before the swearing in of the elections.