Three students shot in KU protests

March 30, 2009 12:00 am


, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – It’s now emerging that three students were shot, one of them seriously, during Sunday night’s violent protests at the Kenyatta University.

One of the students who sustained gunshot injuries in the neck was said to be in a critical condition on Monday evening.

Police confirmed the shooting of the three students and announced that investigations had been launched.

“It is too unfortunate that some students were shot. We are taking this matter very seriously. Investigations are underway,” Spokesman Erick Kiraithe said.

The students were admitted to the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

There were reports that some other students who sustained injuries other than gunshot wounds were taken to hospitals in Ruiru where many of them were treated and discharged.

“This is a serious issue because our officers are under strict instructions not to use live ammunition while quelling riots. We do not know who shot at the students,” he said.

Police investigators were dispatched to KNH on Monday where they held a brief discussion with the injured students and took their details.

Chaos broke out barely three days after the students had returned to campus after they were sent home last week following riots to protest numerous grievances, mainly an examination registration deadline.

They went on the rampage on Sunday night, setting ablaze two buildings and damaging other property before police were called in.

Eighty six students were arrested during the violent confrontations with police.

Of these, 45 were arraigned at the Thika Law courts on Monday while 41 were taken to the Makadara Law courts to face charges of arson and malicious damage.

Police said they were looking for some other students suspected to have organised Sunday night’s protests that culminated in the indefinite closure of the institution.

Last week, the University management suspended 35 students, including 12 officials of the students union who were accused of organizing the initial strike.

The 12 officials have now moved to court to challenge their suspension, saying it was unprocedural.

The leaders filed the application through lawyer Peter Kaluma and appeared before Justice George Dulu.

They said they were suspended through letters dated March 24 following demonstrations that led to the closure of the university.

On Monday, Kaluma told Justice Dulu that the students were suspended even before they could be given a fair hearing, contrary to the universities rules and regulations.
He argued that suspensions from the institution could only be ordered by the Senate through a disciplinary committee.

“The senate had not constituted the disciplinary committee that was supposed to hear allegations against students to determine any disciplinary action,” he said.

Mr Kaluma told the court that his clients had also been barred from entering the institution.  “The decision was based on extraneous considerations, was selective and arbitrary. It was unlawful, null and void,” he argued.

He claimed the students were only suspended because they are officials of the students body.

Separately, one of the students Jared Onyando has sued the institution after he was suspended early this year for allegedly taking photographs of the Vice Chancellor Professor Olive Mugenda and recording her speech without permission.

He was also accused of organising students’ demonstrations, making unreasonable noise in the campus and inviting the press to cover the protests.


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