The Meru University of Science and Technology has been indefinitely closed. Following protests that erupted Monday 31st October after the death of a student, the university premise was closed by the ruling of the campus senate. Deputy Vice Chancellor Gitonga Mburugu expressed his sadness stating ” It is very sad that we have lost a student who had a very promising life ahead of him.”
Meru University’s students took to the streets in protest of the university administration. Citing negligence, students demanded better services. Among the sentiments raised by students, was the fact that the clinic was closed when the deceased student was rushed to receive urgent care, students lamented it should be open on all days to care for emergencies. The riots were a reaction of students to the death of a fellow student who was presented at the student clinic center but received the delayed response of the ambulance and inadequate health care at the clinic that may have contributed to his death. Recounting the moments before the death of their colleague, one student shared how fast their friend’s condition deteriorated progressively.
Protests continued on, as riot police fired teargas and attempted to control the situation, making arrests of some students. The riot saw the damage of campus property as well as the closure of the Meru-Maua highway. As students continue to protest mediocre services provided on campus, justice is yet to be attained for the family left behind after the death of a promising student.
The case of the Meru University riot is the third in a series of riots breaking out across the country, with other student-led protests happening in Kisumu’s Maseno University and Multimedia University. Student protests seemingly inconvenience city operations based on the official’s reactions and makes little impact to resolve major issues and implement solutions. To pack a bigger punch, a more solution oriented approach can make real change in Kenya’s university system.