Ruto’s Sh1m gift: Why students opted for Sh180 each instead of bash, bursaries

For the better part of Tuesday, Kenyans online mockingly questioned the Sh180 distributed to each student after President William Ruto donated Sh1 million towards entertaining learners at Dedan Kimathi University.

Kenyans are questioning the students’ decision to have the money divided among them instead of organising a luncheon.

Lewis Murimi, an electrical engineering student, told Nation, that Sh180 is a lot of money for a comrade as it will cover lunch expenses for a week.

“We get lunch from as low as Sh25, and with Sh180, a comrade will have lunch for seven days. The cash will also boost my upkeep because sometimes my parents delay sending cash.,” Murimi said.

“The cash at hand is better because not everybody will benefit from the bursary. So, I voted for students to get an equal share of the donation to ensure fairness.”
Murimi says that he had already done the calculation before voting.

“I had calculated and found that each student would receive Sh150 so the money has exceeded my expectations,” he said.

According to a memo dated April 9, the Director of Students’ Welfare Esther Nthiga noted that following public participation conducted through Google Form, the majority opted to get a fair share from the donation.

There were three options – share the money equally, organise a luncheon or allocate it to the student’s bursary kitty.

In the poll results, Nthiga said students who supported the sharing of funds were 51 per cent.

Some 36.4 per cent of students asked for a luncheon, while the other 35.5 per cent wanted the money channelled to the students’ bursary kitty.

With the majority having their way and the minority their say, the university concluded that each student deserved Sh180 from the donation.

“Following the outcome of the public participation, it has been decided that every undergraduate student during the January-April 2024 semester, including students who are on internal attachment during the semester will be given Ksh.180,” read the part of the memo.

Aaron Kipsang, an Electrical and Electronics Engineering student, said he felt the other two options were not viable.

“I voted for cash because every one of us will get their deserved potion,” said Kipsang.

“Sh180 will sort out a couple of financial issues for a day. A whole day sorted for a comrade is an accomplishment,” he added.

Gloria Melody, a third-year Maths and Modeling student, said she is content with the final decision, although she voted for the money allocated to the student’s bursary kitty.

“Currently we are in the examination period and I thought it was a good opportunity for the students who would be forced to apply for special exams to use the cash for that purpose”, said Gloria.

“The voting was fair, if the majority voted for the money to be divided equally, I don’t have a problem with that,” she said.

Vincent Kamami, a fourth-year student, said he voted for a luncheon as the school has few events that bring students together to socialise.

“I felt like the luncheon would help with social meet ups and help students interact with each other,” Vincent told Nation.Africa.

President William Ruto visited the university on March 26, where he donated Sh1 million to the students through the Directorate of Students Welfare for entertainment.

The school further directed all class representatives to inform students in various departments to collect the money from the directorate.

“Kindly note that any uncollected money by Friday, April 19, will be channeled to the students’ bursary,” the school noted.

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