Learning activities at Mount Kenya University Thika main campus have been disrupted and the institution closed temporarily after students staged peaceful demonstrations that turned chaotic and full of drama.
The students have blocked General Kago road passing through the institution with stones and logs bringing transport activities to stand still as the students lit borne fires on roads leading out of the campus chanting ‘Punda amechoka’ expressing their dissatisfaction with how the University administration and Mount Kenya Students Association (MKUSA) have resolved to poor governance of the institution.
However, the comrade’s demonstrations turned ugly when negotiations between the students and administration did not amount to anything hence Police Officers had to fire bullets and discharged tear gas canisters at furious demonstrating students who took to the streets and all roads leading out of the campus. A one-hour vacation notice was issued to get rid of the students in the institution. Used tear gas canisters, twigs and stones scattered in the university campus study villas and on the main gates.
The concerned students complained of a number of crucial issues the University administration together with the MKUSA have remained deaf on them something which prompted their demonstrations. The students accuse the administration of ethnic profiling amongst the students and dividing them on tribal lines especially in a case where the Chairman of LUO association was stopped from putting up a banner for allegations of not seeking clearance from the security.
Illegal amendments of the MKUSA Constitution are one of the issues where the current elected MKUSA is blamed of working closely with the administration into accomplishing the changes to have a delegate system to represents students instead of the traditional election by majority.
The elected students’ leaders in the MKUSA have forgotten their purpose and resorted to embezzling of funds meant for students’ welfare a case where MKUSA officials held the DEAN of students hostage in his office after refusing to give in to their demands for cash.
The biometric security check entrance has also been a key factor where comrades claim the administration is planning to use it to lock out students who will not remit school fees on time. This is bad as they say not all students can afford paying fees within three weeks of a new semester. Above all the new security system causes a lot of delays and inconveniences for students.
Allocated funds for social welfare have found their way to individuals’ pockets and comrades complain that it is evident in the campus when one walks into the campus clinic instead of drugs there are condoms, events like fresher’s bash are scarce yet the money for such activities was catered, Students taking part in sports activities use public vehicles yet the University buses are perfectly parked with fuel tanks full.