Prof. Laban Ayiro, the Moi University Vice Chancellor, mentioned in his oration that he plans on cleaning the tainted image of the university. Some of the action taken so far is the clean up of the area in the environs of the campus, banning small businesses at the stage. This change has been met by both positivity and negativity from those affected.
Moi University management has ordered small businesses operating inside the main campus to be closed down. This comes after the court had previously barred such action against the traders. The demolitions begun on March 6th at around ten o’clock with the traders trying to salvage the little that they can.
Most of the traders are those in the grocery business. The grocers sell vegetables to students who live in hostels and prefer to cook rather than buying food from the school cafeteria. The hostels availed a big and robust market to the traders because of the high population of students.
A memo had been issued in January 2017 by the management asking the traders to relocate to the stage area of the campus. The traders had in turn gone to court and filed a case which had stopped the university from demolishing their businesses but only temporarily. “I don’t know what we will do. The stage area is already filled with other traders and we might not all get the profits we have been used to,” says one lady selling groceries, who declined to be mentioned.
Cooking in hostels is illegal because of the dangers involved but University Management had said it would not interfere with that nor does it condone it. This move is seen by many students as a way of discouraging cooking. “With kiosks close by, it was easy to prepare meals. Most of us might turn to eating at the cafeteria given this new development,” says David Mutwiri who resides at a hostel.
The businesses outside of the campus has several thriving businesses which cater to the needs of students who live outside the hostels. This means that the traders who will be relocating there will find it hard to tap into a market that is already being served.
This article was written by Capital Campus Correspondent Anthony Mbugua.