Student shot in neck dies in hospital

Monday March 30 2009

Kenyatta University students leave the main campus under police watch on Monday.  The institution was closed indefinitely following  student rampage on Sunday night. Photo/MICHAEL MUTE

Kenyatta University students leave the main campus under police watch on Monday. The institution was closed indefinitely following student rampage on Sunday night. Photo/MICHAEL MUTE 

By BENJAMIN MUINDI

A Kenyatta University student died of gunshot wounds on Monday evening while receiving treatment.

He was admitted to the intensive care unit of Kenyatta National Hospital, according to hospital boss Jotham Micheni, where he was being treated after being shot in the neck.

The victim was injured on Sunday night when students rioted and extensively damaged the university.

Dr Micheni told the Nation that in total 10 students were treated at Kenyatta for fractures and gunshot injuries. Four were admitted while the rest received treatment and were allowed to go home.

Three are still in hospital, including one with injuries to the chest who was undergoing surgery as we went to press.

Speaking to the Nation by telephone earlier, police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said: “The APs based on campus struggled to save the university. That’s when they were forced to use their firearms before the main anti-riot contingent arrived.”

Police said they changed their method of dealing with student riots after the shooting of a University of Nairobi student last month. GSU and regular police officers are sent to quell school riots unarmed.

Some 20 rifles from the APs on campus have been taken for ballistic tests.

“We can’t say whether the use of firearms was justified because investigations are not complete,” the police spokesman said.

Students said they rioted after vice-chancellor Olive Mugenda disbanded an elected students’ union and replaced it with a hand-picked one.

To make matters worse, students accused the VC of slapping on them a Sh23 million fine for damages resulting from a protest over exam registration a fortnight ago after she had estimated it at Sh15 million.

The students’ response on Sunday night, just two days after they were recalled, was bizarre. Wanton destruction, reckless demolition and ruin.

What stood as a Computer Centre is now debris. Destroyed computer parts loosely hang from desktops and glass cluttered the floor.

Across was an elaborate Students’ Centre where students relaxed after lectures. This has now been reduced to ashes.

The famous Harambee Hall, known for hosting the Kenyatta University Travelling Theatre is now a hall of shame.

KU students did not spare the Nyayo hostels either.

A blaze at the top floor of the male hostel destroyed beds, mattresses and other personal effects of undetermined value. The hostels have a capacity of nearly 4,000 students.

“It is anarchy most unfortunate,” were the words of the Police Commissioner Hussein Ali standing outside the ruins at KU.

“People schooled to this level are not expected to act in this manner,” he said.

A fortnight ago, the students had destroyed the university gate and broke window panes at the administration block.