Students from different East African universities have called for immediate amendment of the Kenyan constitution to create a favorable political environment in the East African nation.
An estimated 1,000 people have been killed and around 300,000 displaced in violence that resulted from a disputed presidential election in December last year, which returned President Mwai Kibaki to power.
The student leaders under their umbrella organisation, East African Community Students Union (EACSU), were earlier this week holding a two- day summit in Dar el Salaam, Tanzania.
The EACSU Secretary for Legal Affairs, Miano Maina, said that they were particularly concerned with the ongoing violence in Kenya and partly blamed the country’s constitution for the unrest. “Constitutional reforms should be effected because there have been inadequacies in the Kenyan constitution. We also think that the independency of the judiciary should be checked,” Maina said in an interview with The New Times in Dar el Salaam.
Maina added that there can not be a level playing field for both government and the opposition when members of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) are appointed by government.
He said that the students feel that members of the opposition in Kenya should participate in appointing commissioners to the commission.
They also said they supported mediation efforts led by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. Opposition leader Raila Odinga says he was robbed of his victory.
Meanwhile, during the same summit, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Dar el Salaam Prof. Rwekaza Mukandala, launched the EACSU magazine.
He called on education institutions in the East African Community (EAC) to embrace the idea of having a common education curriculum, saying this would promote regional integration.