Low profile campaigns hit Sonu politics as Babu Owino exits stage

Babu Owino and Moses Kuria

The 2017 Students Organisation of Nairobi University (Sonu) politics is taking a new dimension after the exit of the incumbent Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino. The campaigns, which a year ago were characterised by chaos, huge crowds and luxury automobiles, have been peaceful for the past few weeks.

Most aspirants have turned to the social media to garner support across various campuses. Last year, Babu Owino and his opponent Mike Jacobs Odhiambo spent close to Sh20 million fighting it out for the top seat.

Late March last year, political campaigns were all one could see at the University of Nairobi’s main campus. The entry of Mike Jacobs Odhiambo in Sonu’s top seat race divided students down the middle. Owino was seeking the chairperson’s post for the fourth time and it looked like a life-and-death fight.

Cases of harassment and assault were reported, with both sides trading accusations. At one point, Owino and his close friends recorded a statement with the police over allegations that they roughed up and assaulted Mike Jacobs near a petrol station.


The flamboyant Sonu chairperson’s campaign tour always saw comrades wine and dine like kings. He set the bar very high for his opponents. Anyone worth the salt could only match him after setting aside some good cash, a top propaganda team and a team of good strategists. Though Mike Jacobs came close to achieving it, he lost by a huge margin in an election which led to chaos and eventual torching of Sonu’s main office.


Other big spenders and top student politicians are also missing from the list of those going for seats in the mid-April elections. Geoffrey Mosiria, a one time foe-turned-political ally of Owino, is yet to declare his interest in any of the seats. Two years ago, Mosiria mounted a spirited campaign against the moneyed Owino and showed some hope of toppling Owino.

Mike Jacobs, whose spirited campaigns saw him earn loyal followers, is also missing in action. The third year student and businessman was recalled after he won a case challenging the university’s decision to expel him together with 33 others in connection to the post poll chaos.

Owino is said to be eyeing the Embakasi East parliamentary seat.


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