South Sudanese college and university students studying in Kenya have a reason to smile. After six months of uncertainty, a new set of leaders was sworn in to steer their association body. The South Sudanese Students Association of Kenya (SSSAK) brings together all South Sudanese students attending college in Kenya.
“Elections were supposed to have been done on 3rd November last year. However, due to some wrangles occasioned by the previous office, the elections were delayed,” reveals Isaac Bol Deng Bol the newly elected association Deputy President.
In a statement released and co-signed by the SSSAK council speaker, chairman of the arbitration board and a commissioner of the SSSAK electoral commission, the elections had been postponed after the outgoing president sought an injunction in court. The former president of SSSAK and his executive are accused of misappropriating the association’s funds.
“The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Sudanese Students’ Association in Kenya (SSSAK) has announced unopposed president Tom Gatdel Maloa and other posts. They were sworn in by the Chairman of the Arbitration Board at South Sudan’s Embassy in Kenya on Sunday 14th April 2019,” read the statement.
The newly sworn-in President, Tom Gatdel, and his Deputy are Bol Deng are both students at St. Paul University. Tom is in Nairobi Campus while Bol is in Nakuru Campus. The office will serve for a period of one year according to the SSSAK’s constitution.
Formed in 2006, SSSAK has produced students who have gone ahead to take leadership positions back in South Sudan. The current Governor for Jonglei State, Hon. Philip Panyang is a pioneer of SSSAK. Others are the former Deputy Minister for Information, Philip Thon Aleer, former chairman of SPLM Youth League Paul Akol and Barach Deng Bol a member of the Sudan NGO council among others.
According to the new Deputy President, Bol Deng Bol, their first duty will be to unite the SSSAK members who are polarised following the change of guard.
“Leaders should be in position to unite and serve the subjects equally. This was my assurance to the people of Nakuru upon which I further call on the students’ leadership in Eldoret and the entire Greater Rift Valley Region to echo a single, unified voice in fostering SSSAK mend the crevices created by the recent election,” said Bol while addressing the Sudanese Students’ Leadership in Nakuru, commonly known as SSUCSAN on Saturday.
The former International Students representative at Nakuru’s St. Paul’s University has revealed that he will be visiting the colleges and universities in the greater Rift Valley where the SSSAK is represented to “disseminate messages of peace and unity of Students in Kenya for a common purpose.”