At the mention of the name Babu Owino, a bell instantly rings to many a comrades’ heads. To many, he is the flamboyant, flashy, radical and fearless SONU chairman of the academic year 2011/2012 who has as many haters as he has admirers. At a time when students are planning on how economize their HELB loan that is never enough to cater for one’s needs, Babu is said to be living in the up market suburb- Kileleshwa, driving flashy cars, running big businesses and generally, eating life with a big spoon- and a silver spoon at that.
In 2012, Babu graduated with a first class honors from the University of Nairobi in Actuarial Science. As expected, his graduation ceremony was marked by a convoy of some of the latest and most expensive cars in the market. Audis, Range Rovers, Mercedes, etc. When he entered the graduation square where the ceremony was taking place, jaws dropped and mouths were left open, with many wondering how a student could afford all that luxury. The source of his wealth, however, still remains a mystery to many. He went ahead to vie for the Westlands parliamentary seat against Tim Wanyonyi but lost at the preliminary level.
Nevertheless, in May 2013, Babu puzzled many when he enrolled as an undergraduate student, again, only that this time, he decided to study law. Paul Ongili aka Babu Owino is now a first year student in UoN’s Parklands Campus. However, when Babu declared his interest for the chairmanship, again, most people- the administration, students and the media alike, thought he had lost is mind with some of his critics describing it as retrogression and lack of vision.
There have been reports that he stepped down, though. However, his campaign manager confirmed that Babu is still in the race. This has given his opponents sleepless nights as they try to look for ways to outdo him in the upcoming elections and prove a point.
There are rumors that he plans to spend Shs5.2 million per week throughout the entire campaign period. When contacted, his campaign manager had the following to say: “We will go as far as fueling for our supporters, meet their expenses, pay their accommodation fee and pay them handouts which they later dish out to campaign rally multitudes to prove their might. We’ll also part with entertainment
allowances as most of the supporters love partying after a tiresome rally day and engage in a drinking spree.”
This only means that this year’s race for chairmanship will be tighter than ever. Whoever wants to win will definitely have to outsmart their opponent and of course, dig deeper into their pockets.
BY JOSEPHINE OTIENO