Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Imagine securing an admission to a University to pursue your dream degree. After nearly four laborious years and drained resources, you are slapped with the notification that the institution was not after all accredited to offer the said course making your four year sojourn a fruitless frolic. Well, such is what almost befell Kaunda Shunen Neema and Mburu Lucy Wangari. These aspiring lawyers enrolled for Law degrees at Inoorero University only to realize four years later that the school had not been accredited by the Council of Legal Education to offer a degree course in law.

In a curt rejoinder, Inoorero University clarified the allegations in the local dailies that indeed it offered the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) approved by the Commission of Higher Education which advised that the curriculum had to be approved and accredited by the Council of Legal Education. It further admitted that “…as the University awaited accreditation it admitted some LL.B students in the hope that the accreditation process would be complete before they advanced in their programme”. The accreditation according to Inoorero University took longer than anticipated and thus the intitution decided to transfer its law students to Mount Kenya University to successfully finalize their degrees.  IU reported to have completed the transfer of the said students and necessary credits.

However according to the Legal Education Act, any institution offering any programme of legal education in Kenya for award of a degree, diploma or a certificate in law is required to apply for a licence from the Council of Legal Education. It is an offence to offer, purport to offer or hold out as offering legal education without a license attracting a penalty of a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.

Following this incident, the Council for Legal Education has since published a general notice on the state of universities and law schools in Kenya vis-à-vis their law programmes. According to the communiqué, the only fully accredited institutions to offer LLB degrees are Kenyatta University, Strathmore University, Riara University and Kisii University College.

Other institutions provisionally accredited for LL.B programmes are University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Mount Kenya University, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, African Nazarene University and Kabarak University. Institutions approved to offer Diploma in Law are Kenya School of Law (Paralegal Programme), Inoorero University and Nairobi Institute of Business Studies.

Moi University and Presbyterian University of Eastern Africa had initially been granted Provisional accreditation but the accreditations are under review for non-compliance. It is believed that the said universities can offer the law programmes pending completion of the review of the Council of Legal Education.

Kenya school of Law is the only institution that offers post-graduate diploma in law otherwise known as Advocates Training Programme (ATP) which law graduates must undergo before their pupillage and admission to the roll of advocates.

The council further indicated that it  has had dealings with institutions in a bid to offer law programmes but the council has not provisionally or fully accredited the said institutions. These include Bondo University, Chuka College, Elgon View College, Pioneer College, Nairobi Aviation College, Kiriri Women University, Foundation Institute of Africa Limited, MIS Centre, College of Management, KCA University, Leader Institute and Inoorero University.

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A CAMPUS VALENTINE’S

Posted: March 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Valentine’s Day is here? Again? For those in love this is a day to express ones love towards his/her partner. Simple as love is in its basic concept, love can be quite expensive.  The phrase “no Romance without finance” comes to mind. And quite appropriately so.

Interestingly though, broke or not your partner expects to be shown some love. These days going for a stroll in the park just won’t cut it. In fact free expressions of love are often regarded as boring and associated with losers. On the other hand, though,extravagance, especially on  Valentine’s Day is christened beautifully including but not limited adjectives such as sweet, awesome and romantic.

The world over Valentine’s is silently considered to be the day when the man does something “awesome” for the lady. Though women are expected to reciprocate the same since a good turn deserves another, more often than not the ladies get away with it. For most comrades however only so much can be expected.

Ask any young man in campus under these economic times. There are just too many unsettled priorities before you can get to the bottom of the list where romance is.

The irony of this situation though, is that your girlfriend still expects something. This is the time when many students come up withemergency calls to their parents for additional text books or some constructed medical emergency and what have you. All in a bid to solicit some moolah to take their chicks out.  Save the nature walks and dinner in the hostel room for the clueless broke boys.

This Valentine’s Day enjoy your love and remember that in life, the best things are free. If you find yourself struggling to please your loved one then maybe you are not being honest enough. It is a lot easier to let them understand your situation.  A little effort wouldn’t hurt though. Perhaps some coffee. Or a movie. Something manageable but fancy. In short think out of the box and there will always be a cheap way to say those three words without sounding cheap.

But then again, this isn’t a relationship column now is it? What the heck?! Break the damn piggy bank!

BATTLE OF THE BEAU’S

Posted: March 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

It’s that time again when beauty queens from various tertiary institutions across the country face off for the ultimate rights, the Miss University Kenya title. Organized by Pambazuka Entertainment, the pageant is set to take place on 7th February at Nairobi’s Carnival Grounds with a total of 17 contestants battling it out for the chance to represent the country in the continental pageant in the Democratic Republic of Congo this March.

Amongst the participating Universities are the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, JKUAT, KEMU, St Paul’s University, Zetech College, Multi-Media University, Dedan Kimathi University of Science & Technology, KEMU, Catholic University of East Africa and Masinde Muliro University, KCA and USIU.

KU, CUEA and Multi-Media University lead with the most representatives which as shocking as it may be is no surprise compared to the fact that JKUAT actually have a representative. It’s understandable therefore why all eyes will rest on JKUAT’s Joan Maina if only out of sheer curiosity.

Immaculate Aquinata (no typo, sic!) and Dorcas Omollo will be flying Zetech’s flag as Minky Wanja, Eunice Kamau and Rosa Waruguru represent KU in the contest. Bernice Mugambi and Christine Nyambura will represent the University of Nairobi and Egerton University respectively while Ruth Mzinga will front KCA. Multi-Media’s trio comprises of Laureen Mwai, Franchie Wanjiku and Carol Makena while Bertha Chege and Daisy Thiongo will rep KEMU. Others include Ashleys Mazuri, Mercy Omakada, Faith Wanjiku and Rebecca Wairimu.

The current title is held by Carmille Milton of Catholic University who represented Kenya at the Continental finals held in Lagos, Nigeria last year.

The beauties are currently training in Nairobi before heading down to the coastal city of Mombasa for a boot camp ahead of the finals in Nairobi next weekend.

During the training, the beauties also signed up for the ‘Passion for Peace’ pledge, in so doing, committing to advocate for and promote peace prior to, during and after the forthcoming 2013 general elections in Kenya.

While the rest of employed Kenyans are whining about January blues, it’s all just another day in the life of a comrade. College is supposed to be the time of our lives (unless you’re in Moi Uni), so why do we have to be so damn broke all through it? We all know what it’s like to be the “starving student”. Everything is so expensive! Hostels, alcohol, food, dates, alcohol, parties… And every time some ‘financial breathing room’ pops up, something always seems to come up. But perhaps there’s other ways to maneuver through it all.

Many students receive some form of financial aid when attending school. Everything from grants, scholarships, and student loans go into a student’s reward package. Sometimes there is an overage on a student’s account when tuition and fees have been paid to the school and there is some financial aid money left over. As a rule of thumb, parents are never to be made aware of this. Ever! If properly budgeted, this money should be enough to keep you afloat through those thick times.

Granted jobs, even part-time one’s are hard to come by in these parts. But it doesn’t hurt to look. An extra 10K a month will go a significantly long way in raising that much needed extra income. And considering this is your money, you can spend it any how you please. To start off, consider work study programs on campus.

Travel light. Money has a way of ‘disappearing’ whenever you carry it around. Only carry what you need and make a habit of accounting for every shilling when you get back to your room. Easier said than done.

If you live in the hostels, consider alternative meal options to save that extra shillings on your day to day expenses. Take a trip to the Club 36’s of UoN or the KM’s of KU and you’ll be surprised at how much cheaper supper can be in comparison to the average cafeteria or student Centre.

‘Free’ is your friend.. Take advantage of the free things on offer. Whether it’s a free ride to USIU or the free campus parties and events. Anything that doesn’t require you to dig into your pocket is more than welcome.

You know that saying about how blood is thicker than water? Well this is the time to put it to work through relatives. Call up a random uncle or working cousin just to say “hi” and throw in an account of your hungry nights in the midst of the conversation. Works all the time.

2013 STARTER KIT FOR COMRADES

Posted: January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

So it’s back to campus this week for most comrades after what must have been an activity filled holiday. Hard as it may be to accept, it’s an inescapable reality. But at least this time around, there’s something to look forward to with the dawn of the new year. Cliched as it may sound, every new year brings with it a simmering sense of promise more so for campuserians (well, any student really) as we edge ever closer to accomplishing the painstaking yet rewarding task of completing studies. Well, here’s a few tips that may come in handy this year as you trudge towards that seemingly distant goal.

Lectures are to be attended. However laborious it may seem the rewards that come with actually attending classes can never be overemphasized. Just refer to your most recent transcript for evidence. Yeah, it sucks to admit that parents and lecturers are actually right but the only way to justify the four (give or take) years spent on campus is by actually having learnt something by the time you leave the place. And how do you learn? There you go!

Network. Unlike high school, there’s no other platform to redeem yourself after campus. It’s the final frontier. Beyond it lies only one thing; life. That’s why it’s probably a good idea to be well prepared for it as you approach the final stretch. Sure, learning is key to accomplishing this but one of the most significant take-home’s from campus will be the relationships you develop while there. Be it classmates, roommates, lecturers, potential employers, heck even godfathers. The relationships you build in campus will be the extra ammo you’ll need after you ‘step out’. And best believe you will need it.

Any comrade worth the name will tell you that the measure of how good or bad a semester was is the number of kick ass parties you attended. What? It’s like the 753¼ th rule of comradeship! Granted, campus memories are made of such. So by all means, indulge. Besides, the world does not revolve around the library. It’s okay to venture a little bit but be wary not to lose your footing while at it. These be murky streets. You don’t want to miss out on the campus experience and end up club hopping on a walking stick in your twilight years but at the same time…you know how that one ends.

For heaven’s sake get hitched! You don’t have to get married or anything but at least make an attempt at sustaining a relationship for longer than a cab ride from the club. It may sound old fashioned but when you’re folks start hounding you on graduation day about what you brought home besides that ‘piece of paper’ it won’t be so funny. Besides, it’s campus, you’re literally spoilt for choice.

Now off with yourselves.

MUSINGS FROM THE LAKESIDE

Posted: January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized

With the beginning of this new semester, many things cross my mind. The tempo of learning is grudgingly slow so I’ve spent this first week analyzing my fellow comrades in the University of Nairobi’s Kisumu campus and believe you me, there’s a lot to see.

First, the obsessive chop. He hasn’t missed a single lecture since the semester kicked off. That, mark you is barely a handful days ago. He passes for a smooth operator and a very articulate intellectual. The ease with which he goes about his business is truly admirable. Even enviable.

Then there’s the chatterbox. The guys who even knows all the lecturers’ third names. Not surprisingly he also serves as the class rep. He’s a handful this one. Always seeming distracted by one thing or another at any given point in time. I like to think of him as an academic hermaphrodite. You know, because he knows everything about campus except what he needs to earn him top grades. It also doesn’t help that while he claims to be a football fan he’s always screaming at Arsene Wenger to substitute Wayne Roonie during the Chelsea game.

The charmer. He’s a darling of the beauties. Speaks ‘polished’ sheng but cannot compose a complete sentence in grammatical English. His questions in class can induce vomit. Perhaps that’s why he is regarded a master in the art of mwakenya writing. But don’t be fooled, he knows the latest Billboard Hot 100 songs by heart.

Finally, there’s the joker. I know right? The name says it all. He’s yet to set foot on campus. Oh wait, I think I spotted him at the Student Centre the other day. Or was it at the back to school party? Only thing I’m sure of is he was wasted a good one!

Somehow, despite our remarkable differences, we all somehow manage to get along in this place we call our home every semester. But when it comes down to it, what matters most is what we take from our shared time and experiences. Lessons. Both in the lecture hall and in everyday life.

Joab Oboge

For a long time now, the University of Nairobi has held the baton as the leading institution of higher learning in the country. And for many reasons, this remains accurately so. Never mind what some ‘Thika Road residents’ may say or think.

But for all its glittering glory, the mother of all Kenyan universities has more weeping than ululation to do courtesy of its current crop of comrades. Please note that the term ‘comrade’ has been used in its loosest form here to refer to the self seeking student leadership at UoN.

Whereas this column has severally admonished SONU for the cracked empty shell it has weathered into, the recent turn of events in the once boisterous union paint a pitiable if not laughable picture. So in the spirit of maintaining newsworthiness and relevance, here goes. After all, even village mad men make headlines every now and then don’t they?

i-see-stupid-people

A couple of weeks ago, a section of UoN’s student politicians staged a theatrical show when they ‘impeached’ the sitting chairman in a dramatic series of events that culminated in the now familiar exchange of stones and crude weapons. Except in this case it was between the students themselves as even the cops preferred to sit the catfight out.

So after the clawing and hair pulling, the admin sought to contain the mounting ‘tension’ with a retreat for the SONU parliament where the aggrieved parties planned to ratify the Chairman’s dismissal. Except after money changed hands, the accusers became the accused and the hired goons turned into attackers disrupting the parliamentary sessions and plunging the entire union into confusion. In other words, everything is now back to normal in UoN.

Word on campus is that the squabbles were spurred by political disputes after certain candidates in the national elections dished out money in the campus only for one group to be ‘washed’ by the other. Yes, these things still happen in 2012. Apparently nowadays having an education doesn’t necessarily mean being rid of ignorance.