SONU stands for Student Organization of Nairobi University. It is an organization whose membership comprises all people who enroll as students to study different disciplines with an aim of becoming professionals within those specific fields.SONU has influenced most of the political transitions in the country, Kenya.
The students’ union has undergone a lot of significant developments within its history including being banned several times by both the Jommo Kenyatta and Daniel Moi governments.
SONU leaders over the years have actively participated in matters of national concern and they have over the times expressed students’ position about issues of national and international concern. Examples include their reaction to the assassination of JM Kariuki where students lead by then leaders like Wanyiri Kihoro and James Orengo demanded truth to be established and justice to be done by organizing mass protests.
In 1982,there was an attempted coup against the Moi government.amny student leaders including the then chairman Mr.Ttito Adungosi were arrested in connection to the coup.Adungosi was later convicted and sentenced for a prison term of ten years but died in prison due to high level of tortures to political prisoners during the reign of the then president Moi.After the aborted 1982 coup the Moi government continued to act tough on student leaders and lecturers because they were suspected to be inciters against his oppressive regime. A group of students led by the then Chairman Mwandawiro Mghanga were expelled from University, arrested and harassed most of the times. In 1987 the then chairman of SONU Mr.Wafula Buke was detained on suspicion that he was spying for the Libyan government which by then was at loggerheads with the Moi regime.buke was later imprisoned only to be released after introduction of multiparty politics in Kenya
1n February 1990 SONU leaders took to the streets following the mysterious murder of the then Kenya’s foreign minister Dr.Robert John Ouko whose charred remains were found at Got Alila near his Koru home after four days of disappearance. This led to closure of the University.
During the struggle for multiparty democracy in Kenya, the union was steadfast in supporting the leaders of opposition who comprised the doyen of Kenyan opposition politics the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga,Masinde Muliro,Martin Shikuku,George Nthenge,Philip Gachoka And Ahmed Salim Bahmariz.SONU played a significant role in transforming Kenya into a multiparty state. This led it to be disbanded in 1992.Many student leaders were suspended or expelled. In 1998, some student leaders sought truce with the then president Moi and asked the government to lift the ban and register of the union.Moi believing that they were going to assist him solve his numerous political problems gave in to their request and SONU was registered under a new name, SONU 98.elections were held and officials were sworn in. during SONU elections which were conducted by the electoral commission of Kenya, violence was rampant between different warring groups. One most prominent group which was lead by Christopher Owiro who was well known as Karl Marx was the most powerful although this caused Karl Marx’s opponents to gain sympathy votes.
1n the year 1999 the university established the parallel degree programme.the student leaders were against it for they regarded it as exploitative and an opening for corruption. It was an idea coined by the then Vice Chancellor Prof Francis Gichaga, the late Prof.James Kimani, Prof Mukunya and Prof Kibera.The union mobilized students to protest against this and the university was closed as a result. the student union leaders who included Karl Marx, George Omondi,Irungu Kang’ata,David ole Sankok,Cd Otieno,Mwengi Mutuse,Lawrence Nyaguti among others were expelled from the university as a result. The union was also suspended. The university was later re-opened after these events without any union leadership. The expelled leaders took the university to court over wrongful and illegal suspension but because the state machinery was against them, the case was later thrown out as the student leaders remained suspended and others expelled. a number of then first year students including Fwamba nc Fwamba,Ken Obura,Geff Adero,and Agunda tried to continue the struggle but Ken Obura was suspended in the process thus making his colleagues to retreat. The student union remained disbanded until Moi was out of power.
Since many university students had taken part in campaigning for NARC(National Rainbow Coalition) and ensured that Moi and his party KANU(Kenya African National Union) were out of power, many rose up against the then Moi orphans and demanded reinstatement of the union and unconditional amnesty to all suspended and expelled students. They established an underground committee called the seventeen man committee which comprised both students in the university and those suspended. Among others the committee comprised the following; Ken Obura, Murage Njagagua, Fwamba NC Fwamba, Makokha Wanjala, Cd Otieno, Mwengi Mutuse and Tedd Munovi.They orchestrated the move by having regular night meetings in Fwamba NC Fwamba’s room. Then when the plan was ready, the seventeen man committee mobilized students to go to the University of Nairobi’s great court to demand reinstatement of the union from the Vice Chancellor Prof.Crispus Makau Kiamba and return of all suspended and expelled students unconditionally.
Due to student pressure Prof .Kiamba gave in to their demands .the union was reinstated and the elections were carried out. Students voted in large numbers and voted in most of the seventeen man committee members including Fwamba, Makokha, Munovi, Mutuse and Murage

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