At least 10 University of Nairobi students have been arrested after hundreds of them went on the rampage on Tuesday.
The students engaged in running battles with the police on University Way, demanding that the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) release money to their accounts.
Central OCPD Paul Wanjama said the suspects would be charged in court for engaging in an unlawful demonstration and destruction of property.
“They destroyed newly installed street lights on University Way and we will charge some with malicious damage of property,” he told Nation.co.ke.
He said police lobbed tear-gas canisters at the riotous students, who lit fires in the middle of the road, preventing motorists from using it.
BLOCKED HAILE SELASSIE AVENUE
The students had earlier held a demonstration on Haile Selassie Avenue, blocking it temporarily. They later headed to the Treasury Building through Harambee Avenue.
There, they demanded their Helb money, which they said was meant to be released at the beginning of the semester but that the board had failed to do so.
They, however, took off on seeing police officers. They later regrouped near the university, where they pelted vehicles and the police with stones.
“We cannot even study as we have not paid school fees due to Helb’s failure to wire the money to our accounts,” said Mr Onesmus Kinyosi, a student at the university’s Kikuyu campus.
(READ: MPs pass new Helb law)
The demo was led by University of Nairobi students’ organisation leader Babu Owino, who said they would continue to press for the release of their government loans.
“This demonstration will not end until Helb releases our money,” he said during a brief interview near the Treasury Building.
CALLED FOR CALM
But Helb called for calm among students, saying the disbursement was under way.
“We call on students to exercise patience as the board works closely with other key stakeholders to finalise the disbursement process,”
“The Higher Education Loans Board informs all the university students who had applied for second and subsequent loans that we have started disbursing loans for the semester that commenced in August/September 2015,”.
“Disbursement is expected to continue till Wednesday September 30 when students are expected to have received funds in their accounts,” the board said on its Twitter page.