Varsity suspends 40 students over protest - Daily Nation

Kisii University suspends 40 students for leading strike

Tuesday November 1 2016

Kisii University students leave the institution on October 18, 2016 after they went on strike. The institution on November 1, 2016 suspended 40 students. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kisii University students leave the institution on October 18, 2016 after they went on strike. The institution on November 1, 2016 suspended 40 students. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By ELGAR MACHUKA
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By HENRY NYARORA
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Kisii University has suspended 40 students for engaging in protests that led to closure of the institution two weeks ago.

In suspension letters sent to the students, they have been asked to wait for a future date to face a disciplinary committee.

"The Kisii university senate during its sitting on October 27, has resolved to suspend you with immediate effect pending disciplinary action," said the letter.

They were accused of leading the strike on October 17 that left a trail of destruction of property within and without the university.

On Tuesday, the students faulted the senate's decision saying that it was wrong to kick them out without being given an opportunity to defend themselves.

"Suspension itself is one of the harshest disciplinary actions a university can give. So what other pending disciplinary actions are they talking about?" asked Mr Maxwell Ambiro, one of the suspended students.

They have demanded that the letters be nullified and be accorded a fair hearing from the Senate before it takes any action.

"The university should first have waited for us to get back to school on Wednesday before issuing us the suspension letters. We received text messages via our mobile phones to come pick up our letters while at home," said the third-year-student.

The university's Public Relations Officer Pauline Nyamiaka confirmed the suspensions.

"This is a disciplinary measure agreed by the senate. The students will be informed later when they will come for the hearing," she said.

The institution was indefinitely closed on October 18 following the riots but it will be reopened on Wednesday. They will be required to pay Sh1, 800 for damages suffered and will sign a return-to-class agreement.

At the same time, local leaders have expressed outrage over the closure of the institution’s Nyamira Campus by the Commission of University Education (CUE).

Former North Mugirango MP Charles Ombui said it was sad that the CUE had decided to close the only public university campus in Nyamira instead of equipping it with facilities it lacked.

"While serving as MP, we raised funds to start a nuclear campus of Kisii University at Kiamogake but as soon as I was voted out, the idea was shelved and our children are seeking higher education in far-flung Universities outside the County," Mr Ombui said.

His sentiments were supported by former MP Omingo Magara and Nyamira County Assembly MCA Thaddeus Nyabaro who asked Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i to intervene.

Mr Magara asked Dr Matiang'i to intervene and ensure that the Nyamira campus resumes operations by ensuring that the Ministry of Education has provided the missing facilities.

Recently, CUE ordered two branches of Kisii University located at Keroka and Nyamira towns of Nyamira County to close down and their students relocated to the Main University in Kisii town.