It’s a first for Daystar University as students are sent home indefinitely.
Daystar announced the closure of its institution earlier today, notably is the first private higher institution to close its doors, following student protests.
The notice that was circulated to students read, “This informs you that Daystar University Senate sitting on 11th April 2018 closes the university by noon, 12 April 2018. The Senate consequently asks both students and staff to vacate both Athi River and Nairobi campuses by the indicated time.”
The university’s acting Vice Challechor Prof. Kombo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academics Prof. Bernard Boyo as well as Deputy Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration addressed the media. Speaking at a Press Conference at Crown Plaza, the acting Vice Chancellor outlined the series of the events that have lead to what once was known as “one of Kenya’s premier institutions” to close its doors. The heated conversation between students and Senate members last night, lead to police action that saw tear gas quelled at students at the scene. According to Prof Kombo, “the students held senate members hostage” seeking the audit report be made public prompting them to call the police to restore calm.
This is not the first time Daystar has seen students up in arms. In November 2017, students protested financial mismanagement through an organized boycott. Now less than six months later, the school is at a deadlock, forced to review its operations. Speaking on the recurrent protests, Prof. James Kombo concluded, “The closure is part of the solution to the problem…we require time to look at what we can do” to improve the situation.
The University issued the notice evicting students from the school premises after the relations between the institution’s management and students hit fever pitch last night at the Senate meeting. The institution has at least 10 percent of its student population coming from around the continent. Now inconvenienced by the closure of the university, international students have been asked to report to Valley Road campus to be assisted. Many students still remain in the dark on the tentative opening date of the institution, however, it seems that the institution is keen on ensuring it only reopens when all the issues are resolved.
Student sentiments on the institution’s mismanagement of funds have seen students and parents alike take to social media in protest, with many asking demanding a resolution. V.C Timothy Wachira who is largely blamed for the institutions fall from grace, has taken sabbatical leaving following the results of the forensic investigation report. Speaking to Capital Campus Daystar alumni Lynn Muckale lauded the current student leadership for their resilience. She said ” Daystar is a Christian university, it should be the epitome of integrity but what we are seeing is the grand opposite. Why is there no accountability? We just need to prove that our claims are not false…the delays in issuing the report looks like a cover-up.”
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4th-year student Norman Nadabi also noted that “it is quite sad that the management found it easier to close the university than release the audit report” amid embezzlement allegations. When asked about the contents of the audit report, Prof. Kombo reiterated that there are various individuals named as culprits of mismanagement of funds in the report, however, “the council will not set up a kangaroo court… we must follow the Kenyan institution in dealing with various individuals.”
The university is yet to implement checks and balances to ensure quality assurance within the entity.