Posts Tagged ‘Students Strike’

First it was Kenya Polytechnic University College followed by Jommo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Karen Campus and now Masinde  Muliro University of Science and Technology became the latest statistic of comrade demonstrators when they took to the streets late last week. Hundreds of demonstrating MMUST students paralyzed Mashujaa Day celebrations in Kakamega as they engaged police in running battles in what was a continuation of the previous night’s clash between the students and police where the latter had overpowered the comrades. The students brought transport in the western town to a complete halt as they blocked roads apparently hoping to highlight their plight to the public and authorities. The comrades were demonstrating against what they termed as poor quality of education in the campus especially with regard to Engineering courses which the students said they doubted and had no confidence of excelling in their careers after the course. They also demanded that the administration employ lectures that are recognized by the Engineers Registration Board (ERB) so the courses can be accepted. The University’s Vice-Chancellor Prof. Baraza Wangila said the issue would be handled soon. Meanwhile as JKUAT Karen prepares to re-open on 7th November after last week’s strike, the stage is set for yet another demonstration by UoN students this week as per the resolutions of a kamukunji held by the comrades earlier this week. The ‘extra-ordinary general meeting’ called by the SONU Secretary General, Alex Matere resolved to hold protests if their demand that the administration withdraws all ‘arbitrary’ suspensions and expulsions of students is not met by the end of the week.

Students in Jommo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology’s Karen campus took to the streets earlier this week in protest over the death of one of their own following a fatal accident. The incensed students engaged police in running battles after the march which was initially peaceful turned ugly when the officers were called in to contain the situation. The riot was triggered by the death of a female student in the campus, Bernice Kabutu, who died after she was run over by a vehicle on Monday 19th October while crossing the road leading into the institution. The rioting comrades were demanding that bumps be erected on the road since this was apparently the third time a student has succumbed to such a fate. Following the protests, radio presenter Caroline Mutoko made some unsavoury comments on her morning radio show implying that it was the deceased student’s fault for carelessly crossing the road, a statement that did not go down well with the aggrieved students. The students are now demanding an apology from the radio queen who also observed that the move by the students to take their frustrations to the streets was ill informed. This was the second demonstration by comrades in as many weeks after Kenya Polytechnic University College students staged similar protests late last week occasioned by what the students termed as administration interference in student affairs. The students were enraged by a move by the Dean to bar some candidates from contesting in the student elections. According to the students, the directive was meant to favour candidates from one ethnic community while ensuring other aspirants were locked out.

UPDATE

Below is an excerpt from a statement we received from the JKUAT Karen Students on the above matter:

The girl who was knocked down wasn’t crossing the road. She was on the ‘pavement’ which is really dusty and offroad on Bogani East Road near Bogani Shop. There were two girls and an underage indian driver veered off the road and knocked the deceased and her friend so hard that they were thrown into the shop. Her friend was still in hospital but one reason people demonstrated is that nothing was done to the driver who killed her (and got caught trying to run away) Caroline Mutoko apparently said the girls deserved what they got for recklessly crossing the road when they weren’t near the road at all.

Tension is rising in UoN owing to a move by the administration to increase the price of meals in the students mess. The aggrieved students have taken issue with the almost 100% increment in the prices of food which the administration says is occasioned by the general rise in the cost of living in the country. As a result, the students are now demanding for the prices to be lowered, failure to which they have threatened to ‘take matters into their own hands’ and bearing in mind that this is UoN, we all know what that implies. SONU leaders have since petitioned the administration in a formal request asking the institution’s management to act on the matter to prevent a backlash from the students. A ‘Kamukunji’ has been scheduled for this week where the students are expected to discuss a way forward. Meanwhile, controversy shrouds the recently held ‘UoN Freshers Bash’ with the organisers accusing the top SONU leadership of almost ruining the event after the SONU Chairman, Babu Owino, allegedly made away with a fraction of the money meant for the event. The event, organised by the student union’s Sports and Entertainment Secretary John-Kennedy Kemboi, was held at the Central Catering Unit (CCU) Hall in UoN’s Man campus and was attended by a large number of comrades eager to watch the famed Buggz duo of Bobby Mapesa and VBO who were the headline acts. However, poor sound and the haphazard setup of the highly anticipated event left the students dissatisfied and the organisers blamed on the limited budget they had to work with accusing the chairman of single-handedly sabotaging the occasion.

Trouble continues to stir at Kisii University College after law students in the campus were sent packing recently following a demonstration by the comrades who were demanding that their courses be accredited by the concerned professional body. The enraged students held what were initially peaceful protests within the campus before taking to the streets with their placards demanding a response by the institution’s principal on the issue. The protest led to a brief exchange between the students and GSU officers who were called in to contain the situation but the students maintained their calm and the officers were subsequently called off. The comrades were then sent home until further notice pending a decision by the university’s top management. In nearby Narok University College, students from various institutions last week battled it out in the WECUSA league tournament that featured participants from Kisii University College, Moi University, Egerton University, Kabarak University, Kabianga University College, Maseno University, Masinde Muliro university of Science and Technology and Bondo University. The tournament comprised of various disciplines including volleyball, handball and darts among others.