At least 30 Kisii University students arrested and charged over riots

Tuesday October 18 2016

Police deployed to Kisii University to restore calmness after students rioted.

Police officers at Kisii University on October 17, 2016 to restore calm after students rioted following an order to clear school fees or be deferred. PHOTO | ELGAR MACHUKA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ELGAR MACHUKA
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By AGGREY OMBOKI
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More than 30 Kisii University students have been arrested for taking part in Monday’s riots that left a trail of destruction in and outside the main campus.

The students were arrested during the protest that paralysed learning at the university on Monday.

Tension remained high at the campus on Tuesday following the arrest.

The arrested students were arraigned in the Kisii magistrate’s court on Tuesday and charged with destruction of public and private property.

They denied the charge and were each released on a bond of Sh10,000 and a surety of a similar amount or a cash bail of Sh5,000. The hearing was set for December 7.

The students are suspected to be among those who set ablaze the fee collection office, a School of Law office and a residential house and stoned several offices, among them the administration block.

University public relations officer Pauline Nyamiaka, on behalf of the administration, said an assessment was under way to determine the value of the property destroyed.

She added that the reason the students were demonstrating was the introduction of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System that saw a number of the students deferred for non-completion of fees.

Ms Nyamiaka rejected reports by some media outlets that the unrest was prompted by an increase in school fees.

“The students only protested because of the new ERP system and not the increase of fees.

“The university has not [raised it fees], though we have seen a report in one of the newspapers [not the Nation] that hinted the same,” said Ms Nyamiaka.

RESTORE ORDER

Kisii University Students Union chairman Seth Anunda said the union and the school administration were working to restore order.

The university also said it received a report on Monday evening that a group of students had stolen 50 litres of petrol from a filling station in Mwembe estate but the authenticity of the claim had not been verified.

She said Administration Police and university security officials are on alert to prevent another attack.