Yesterday I looked up the definition of bail in Basically, the concept of bail is simple: Accused persons deposit money with the court which they forfeit if they fail to show up for trial at the agreed date and time. If the accused follows all the requirements of the court, he is refunded his money at the end of trial. This practice was founded upon the need to protect the liberty of a person who has not yet been found guilty. Instead of keeping a potentially innocent person in remand awaiting trial, they can live their life until the judge finds them either guilty or innocent. Universities should adopt a similar method instead of suspending students who are suspected of wrongdoing before they are proven guilty. Where are we going with this? There is a rumour around on social media that the chairperson to the student organization, George Mosi, has been discontinued on academic grounds.
Mosi is a 4th year, BSc. Mechatronics Eng., student and so the rules used in the school of engineering apply to him. According to these rules, failing eight units in one academic year amounts to a discontinuation. Even if you fail four the first semester and another four the second, you still get discontinued. But we are still in the second semester of this academic year, therefore, Mosi has to have failed all units last semester to be discontinued. Discounting the fact the he is a hard worker, it is still hard to imagine a person of Mosi’s intellect failing eight units in one semester. When the VC was awarding the best performing students last semester, Mosi was among those honoured. That’s why something is amiss here. How can you go from being a top performer, in a class where everyone is a bright student, to getting eight E’s out of eight units? Further, he might have feared being targeted which would have made him worker extra harder. How did he still end up with eight fails?
It’s probable that Mosi did not get all those E’s. That’s to say, he might have been failed because of not attending the requisite 80% of lecures (Did you also think it’s a third of the lectures?). Regulations say that attendance of lectures is part of the course. Therefore, if you get an A in a certain unit then it turns out you missed lectures, you will still fail that unit. Mosi and a few other students were suspended for a good part of last semester while they were being investigated, under allegations that they perpetrated last year’s strike. Some of them had different cases altogether. Although most of them managed to avoid a yearlong suspension or longer, they had already missed quite a few lectures. Understand that under those circumstances you cannot attend a lecture for five minutes, sign your name then leave; you are not supposed to be anywhere within the university. Therefore, any such signature, even signed by a friend would only put you in more jeopardy with the university during your disciplinary hearing or later when someone realizes you were “attending” lectures while suspended. So if the committee took a month or two to rule on any of their cases, the affected student had to miss all those lectures. At that point, his/her attendance record has already been compromised.
While these rumours are not entirely unfounded, they might turn out to be completely false. Judging from the quality of the websites owned by DEKUT, it is easy to conclude that the university has a long way to go before the ‘T’ in DEKUT has any real meaning. At one time or the other, almost every student has been frustrated trying to navigate through the website. And the problems are new each day you try to access the website again. Right now, almost every 3rd year student in Mechatronics has nothing but E’s in all the eight units they did last semester. That’s according to the examination results posted at the online student portal. Maybe there is a similar problem with the 4th year Mechatronics examination results. Because of his history with the administration, Mosi might have assumed that the eight E’s were his actual results. There is a saying in Kiswahili: aliyeumwa na nyoka, akiona ukanda hushtuka. We may not know the truth until we resume on Monday, 11th November.
The best thing to do right now is to wait for some kind of official confirmation, either from the university or from Mosi. But if indeed Mosi is discontinued, then he cannot address anyone in an official capacity anymore because the chairperson to DEKUTSO has to be a student of Dedan Kimathi University of Technology. Being discontinued automatically takes away that status thus disqualifying him from being our chairperson. If you know what’s good for you, pray that this turns out to be nothing more than a bad rumour. Otherwise, just in case it turns out to be true, meditate on another Swahili saying in the meantime: ukiona cha mwenzio cha nyolewa, chako kitie maji.



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