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Students sent home as Jkuat closes indefinitely

Monday November 11 2019
jkuat

Jkuat students go home after the university was closed indefinitely on November 1, 2014. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SIMON CIURI

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (Jkuat) was closed indefinitely on Monday after students protested rising cases of insecurity at their hostels.

They engaged police in running battles during the demonstration sparked by a gang's stabbing of a student as he headed to a hostel at the main campus in Juja, Kiambu County.

A few meters from the university's main entrance gate, police officers mainly from Juja Police Station kept vigil to quell the chaos and prevent looting.

OFFICIAL NOTICE

In a statement that followed the unrest, management announced that it had decided to close the university immediately.

“In a special meeting of senate held Monday at 10am, it was resolved that the university closes until further notice," reads the notice signed by Prof Robert Kinyua, the acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

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"Consequently, all students are directed to clear from the main campus by midday."

Dr Hindzano Ngonyo, Jkuat’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, told the Nation by phone that the closure was related to the incidences of insecurity.

He noted that Jkuat's other campuses would remain operational.

MANY COMPLAINTS

Students who did not want to be named said another one of their schoolmates was attacked and injured on Sunday night when she tried to fight off robbers.

“We have raised concerns about the insecurity both inside and outside the university. Our patience has ran out because the management does not act," one said.

“Officers at Juja Police Station, which is less than two kilometers away from the main campus, have never been serious about fighting the insecurity at the university and its environs,” another told the Nation.

Contacted, Juja divisional police commander Dorothy Migarusha refused to comment on the matter.

However, Dr Ngonyo said the university's management had asked law enforcement agencies to address the matter.

PAST PROTESTS

Jkuat students have protested before over insecurity.

In February, they took to the streets after armed robbers killed a first-year learner.

Reports indicated that Tabitha Muthoni and her friends were ambushed while returning to their hostel.

It was said that Ms Muthoni was killed for not complying with the attackers' demand for her to surrender her valuables.

In May 2018, a student from the same institution was stabbed to death as he headed home.

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