ABANDONED IN DEATH? THE SAD FATE OF MORRIS

The Maori creation myth tells of how Sky and Earth were united as one thing, with everything existing in between them. Their children, who were sandwiched between them, however, wanted to be able to see light and so they separated the two. The pain of separation from his beloved Earth made Sky cry, and his tears fell down as rain. From that day, whenever he misses her, he cries and we get rain. It rained in Nyeri today. It might only be that Sky is missing his lover, or it could be that he is mourning the loss of one of Mother Nature’s sons. Somewhere in Kiritiri, Embu,  Morris will be laid to rest today. Moment of silence please, in honour of his memory and his life, which was so suddenly cut short. May his soul forever rest in eternal peace.
Who is going for the burial? His classmates (BPSM second years) were ready to go. Up until late yesterday, they were sure they were going. Then they received text messages saying that the university would not provide them with transportation. Reasons? The university is closed. It, therefore, cannot provide services to suspended students; the government had also disapproved for security reasons. I can understand that last part about security. I mean, if the residents of Kiritiri are as mad as the students were at the bus park the day Morris was run over, I don’t want to imagine the things the aforementioned residents might do to our university bus, notwithstanding whether it caused the accident. It is that part about suspension and not being able to offer services to students which I do not quite comprehend.
First, neither I nor anyone I know received a letter to tell us that we are suspended. I think the university would have been kind enough to let us know if the reason we are home right now is because we were suspended. The notice that was put up on the notice board said that lectures had been suspended; lectures not students. Therefore, from where I stand, it seems inappropriate to deny Morris’ classmates the chance to go say their final goodbyes. Besides, giving out a bus under these circumstances does not quite qualify as a service to the students. A service is picking students up from their places of residence in the morning or taking them on a tour or trip. This is different, this is welfare. Buses have travelled halfway across the country before, taking students to go offer solidarity to families of deceased students. Correct me if I am wrong but is this not when such solidarity is needed more than ever?
Agreeably, it might be too much of a risk to send our own bus to Embu. However, that is not enough reason for the university to fail to provide welfare services in the form of human presence during the burial. In my opinion, the university should have, at the very least, worked to minimize the inherent risk of this situation, and then go ahead and send a bus. No one is saying that the bus be parked beside the coffin to slowly stroke the mourning congregation’s anger. Actually, the bus does not even need to be parked anywhere near the burial ceremony. It could just have dropped off the students at the nearest safe distance possible and then leave to come pick them up later. Or is there another more complicated security issue at hand that I do not recognize?
Almost too conveniently, there is government bureaucracy behind which the school can hide its true intents and motives. Since when does the government interfere in the operations of the university in this way? In Kenya, universities are established as autonomous institutions – with the ability to enter into contracts, to sue and be sued in a court of law. Comrades from the school of business know that clause better. Anyway, I think that that means the university has powers to act on its own. Under which mandate does the government ‘disapprove’ of a move to transport students for welfare purposes? And which is this government exactly, local or national? Now that the university has denied Morris the presence of his classmates at his burial, maybe it will be benevolent enough to please offer us a clear explanation why. I detest bureaucratic double talk, because usually it means somebody somewhere is apathetic to their responsibility, that he/she does not care enough to do his/her job well, or in a case like this, care enough to fulfill an obligation to a dead student.
The whole of this week, someone sat in an office and left the classmates hoping they would be offered transportation to Embu. Whoever was responsible waited until the last minute to tell us that no bus would be availed for such purposes. Why couldn’t they have spoken earlier so that anyone who wanted to find other means had enough time to do so? The student leadership should show more goodwill that this, hopefully they are not just sitting and letting Morris bury himself. The student elected to the post of community and external affairs is responsible here, I think. The clause that establishes the students’ organization states that ‘the object and purpose of the organization shall be to promote the development, establishment and encouragement of worthy traditions…’ We already have a worthy tradition, that of sending comrades to represent us during the burial of one of our own. Why are we abandoning that tradition now? If you grew up in Africa like I did, then you know that it’s taboo to break valuable traditions. Which is why I really need to understand: Why was a bus not provided to take Morris’ classmates to Kiritiri, Embu?

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8 thoughts on “ABANDONED IN DEATH? THE SAD FATE OF MORRIS”

  1. Indeed. Why?
    so sad to see a chartered university act in such a manner. thanks for the insight; like your art. Morris Rest in Peace

  2. Some things wanna make me cry. I just don’t know how to gauge this level of carefree attitude by the University to a dead comrade. If this is how a dead person is treated (I understand dead people spark some sense of responsibility and ‘fright’ in relation to how they are handled or seeing their demands fulfilled), then trust me it will be brutal to a living person because you’re not going to threaten them that your ghost will take their nightmares to another level because you’re living. Kimathi just doesn’t care.

  3. We believe that dead people deserve respect. They actually do. Additionally, we know that, or were made to believe that dead people spark responsibility in us in regard to how we handle their celebration to life event.
    Now, if the University can’t show the least of efforts to to alleviate the sorrow and mourning in Morris’ family, then you can guess what it can do to a living student who isn’t going to threaten the perpetrators of his/her ghost taking their nightmares to a new level because well…they are alive.
    See my point? DeKUT doesn’t care.

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