Masinde Muliro varsity students go on rampage after KU and Pwani varsity closures

The irate students had barricaded the Kakamega-Webuye highway protesting against what they termed as poor leadership by the institution’s top management.

KAKAMEGA, Kenya, October 15, 2019 – Chaos reigned in Kakamega town on Tuesday, October 15, morning as anti-riot police hurled teargas canisters at hundreds of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) students, who went on rampage.

The irate students had barricaded the Kakamega-Webuye highway protesting against what they termed as poor leadership by the institution’s top management.

The learners accuse MMUST’s interim Vice Chancellor, Prof. Asenath Sigot, and the interim Registrar-Academic Affairs, Prof. Thomas Sakwa, of mismanaging the university, including its finances.

The students also alleged that the university has unduly increased learning fees. Academic Affairs Registrar, Prof. Sakwa, dispelled the students’ allegations, saying that the learners were being incited by the student leaders.

According to him, the student leaders are using the learners to push for their selfish interests.

On Monday, October 14, there was pandemonium at Pwani University in Kilifi after students went on strike. Police who were called in to quell the situation engaged in running battles with the students and lobbed teargas canisters to disperse them.

Pwani University in Kilifi after students went on strike. Police who were called in to quell the situation engaged in running battles with the students and lobbed teargas canisters to disperse them.

Videos later surfaced online showing students trying to flee from the melee and others screaming as sounds of gunshots rent the air. In one of the videos, two men in police gear are seen roughing up some of the students who were cornered and lay on the ground.

A man’s voice is heard in the background saying: “Hii ndio matunda….mwajifanya hamsikiii nyinyi? Hii ndio matunda.”

The university has since been shut down indefinitely. ”Following the students unrest and the subsequent damage caused to university property, the university senate in its meeting held on October 14, 2019 decided that the university be closed indefinitely with immediate effect.”

The last time that Pwani University was closed over student unrest was in 2016. Reports indicated that there had been tension after the management suspended some students over fees arrears.

On October 8, Kenyatta University was shut down following two days of student demonstrations. In a memo issued on Tuesday, the institution’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul K. Wainaina stated that the Senate had reached the decision “following disturbances by some students that have led to disruption of lectures and destruction of university property.”

They were reportedly asked to leave the school campus but declined. The Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance Mwakio Tole was quoted saying: “they are still hanging around and inciting…”

On October 8, Kenyatta University was shut down following two days of student demonstrations. In a memo issued on Tuesday, the institution’s Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul K. Wainaina stated that the Senate had reached the decision “following disturbances by some students that have led to disruption of lectures and destruction of university property.”

“In view of the foregoing, all students are required to vacate the university premises immediately,” stated Prof. Wainaina.

Kenyatta University Students Association (KUSA) leader Joshua Ayika, however, advised students to disregard the memo and instead await his address. The students engaged police in running battles and caused a heavy traffic snarl up on Thika Road as they staged a protest over welfare issues.

Led by their union boss Joshua Ayika, the learners reportedly demanded the resignation of Prof. Wainaina over what they termed as “historical injustices.”

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