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Jkuat student injured in another brutal attack

Thursday November 21 2019

JKUAT

Kiambu County Commander Ali Nuno said a knife-wielding gang attacked Oliver Simiyu and his two friends as they walked back to the hostels. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SIMON CIURI
By SIMON CIURI
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Jkuat's security woes deepened on Wednesday night, when two armed thugs attacked a student as he walked to a hostel with two of his friends.

Kiambu County Commander Ali Nuno said the gang that attacked Oliver Simiyu and his friends was armed with knives.

The attack took place near Seagull Hotel, Philo 1 Street, shortly after 9pm, as Mr Simiyu and a friend escorted the other to the hostels.

Mr Simiyu's friends escaped unhurt after surrendering valuables, including two mobile phones.

Witnesses said the assailants cut the victim's lips before stealing his phone. He bled heavily and was rushed to Jkuat Hospital.

POLICE REPORT

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On Thursday, Juja divisional police commander (OCPD) Dorothy Migarusha told the Nation on phone that the victims reported the attack at Juja Police Station.

She confirmed the number of assailants and the weapons used, the victim's name and the scene of the attack.

Earlier, Jkuat management had dismissed the report as old and said they were not aware of a fresh incident.

Ms Migarusha said the students were ordered to surrender their valuables but Mr Simiyu was hesitant, leading to the assault before all their phones were stolen.

"The student was treated and discharged. He is stable," she said, adding that they were following crucial leads.

The gang allegedly took advantage of a power blackout to commit the offence.

PAST PROTESTS

Students of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology have in the past held demonstrations over insecurity, following several attacks targeting them.

A protest at the university in February came after a First-Year learner, Tabitha Muthoni, was stabbed to death by armed robbers.

Ms Muthoni was walking back to the hostels with her colleagues when they were accosted.

For many residents of Juja town in Kiambu County, a threat to Jkuat students is a threat to their businesses.

The vibrancy of the small dusty town has mostly been maintained by the 30,000 students, most of whom live off campus as the university’s hostels can host only 2,700 of them.

One of the questions now is whether Jkuat can enhance security and increase the capacity for hosting students within the campus.

POLICE QUESTIONED

On Monday, police were heavily criticised following their use of excessive force on demonstrations after four officers were caught on camera brutalising a student, Allan Odhiambo.

The protests turned ugly as officers from Juja and Makongeni police stations descended on the learners with blows, kicks and clubs. Ironically, the students were protesting over rising insecurity around the main campus.

Three of the officers were identified as corporal George Mwathania and constables Jonathan Kibet and Boniface Muthama.

Police assessed several video clips of the incident to identify the fourth officer amid a probe by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa).

After the brutality caught the attention of agencies, including the National Police Service Commission, Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said the officers were all interdicted.

Kiambu County Police Commander Ali Nuno told the Nation on phone that they had identified the loopholes criminals were exploiting in ambushes around Jkuat. He urged for calm as police take action.

Dr Hindzano Ngonyo, Jkuat’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, did not respond to calls for comment on the matter.