Cyprian Nyakundi

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Please allow me to speak freely. I have never heard of a university in Kenya called Meru University of Science & Technology. It must have bagged a charter recently. But I knew it from the story of one Cyprian Nyakundi whose run-ins with the administration of that institution has set social media tabloids ablaze. They cut him off his course because of (you won’t believe this) “his relationship with the media and writing about anything happening in the school without the Vice Chancellor’s approval.”

That he was expelled from school for apparently tarnishing the name of his campus is sad, and rather unfair. But that explanation up there as written in his expulsion letter, is (and you will agree with me) hilarious. So now he was asked to consult the Vice Chancellor first before updating his Facebook and Twitter accounts because he was fond of complaining about how the system works; impassable roads, a moribund library, a small cafeteria- among other inadequacies of a newly charted university. He didn’t listen, so they slapped him with an eviction notice.

This is how you know universities are poles apart. If this were to happen in my university, the Vice Chancellor would be sitting on pins and needles, desperately hoping that nobody bursts into his office guns blazing. But when you come to think of it, where I come from, the school does not go through student’s online activities with a fine comb. So this would never happen, unless you are a visitor in Jerusalem, with no idea on how to handle University of Nairobi students when they cheer to the rallying call of Comrades Power.

Nyakundi’s predicament got me thinking though. I do not know much about the nuts and bolts of running a university, but I know that freedom of speech is still a Constitutional right today. And that is a right, not a favor- regardless of the limitations that come with it. If the president was to jail all the people who speak ill of his administration, the streets of twitter will be deathly quiet. This is not Ethiopia for Chrissakes!

Look, anyone who gags a person who speaks his mind is a tyrant. A tyrant only wants songs of praise, ululations and sonnets of his eternal reign. A tyrant lives on a whim, so much so that if you remind him to zip up his trouser, your head will be up on a pike before the sun tags in the moon that evening.

Cyprian Nyakundi fell on the wrong side of a tyrant. He told him to zip up- like literally; quit trying to satiate his concupiscent urges on campus lassies. That was his sin, and so the tyrant sentenced him to the guillotine. Question is, does the sentence befit the crime? Wait, what crime did he commit?

Read his story here


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