Peaceful protests are alien to university students


Our One o’clock news bulletin on Tuesday went something like: "Hundreds of University of Nairobi students have held a rare demonstration in Nairobi …." What our reporter did not tell the public was that the demonstration had not yet ended.  Actually the students had not got down to any serious ‘business’, they were just warming up.

Since time immemorial and all over the world, university students have a unique way of driving a point home; they stone cars and loot businesses of innocent people. This is the point Prime Minister Raila Odinga missed when he told the police to allow the students to hold a ‘peaceful demonstration.’ 

And when the police – with hesitance – licensed the demo I knew the law enforcers had been duped by the ‘intellectuals’.

I was in this particular university for four years and I know there is nothing like a ‘peaceful demonstration.’ A short-lived blackout is enough to provoke students to organise an impromptu stone throwing ritual on their now self declared foot path on State House road.

How do you then give them an opportunity to organise a ‘peaceful’ demonstration?

But these young fellows are simply taking a lead from their folks.  When an election is ‘stolen’ you kill your neighbours.

The fun in a student demonstration is not chanting anti-government slogans, it is throwing stones, terrorising motorists and eating free food. These young intellectuals have no essential service to withhold like teachers, nurses or prison warders. To them, the power of the stone is a sure way of attracting attention, even if it is that of the boys in blue.

The People’s President missed it this time. Anyway, a lesson for Mr Prime Minister… it is not wise to allow university students to hold ‘peaceful’ demonstrations.  They don’t have that definition in their vocabulary.

And for Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, the next time the Prime Minister ‘directs’ your officers to refrain from dispersing students, disregard his orders.  Remind him of this incident and save the vehicles and businesses of innocent Kenyans.
Secondly make it clear to your officers: do not shoot students with live ammunition.  At most, please teargas them!

A quick one here, Major General Ali.  I think it would help if you could hold a meeting at the campus to apologise to the learned fellows for the events of last week.

The writer is a reporter with 98.4 Capital FM

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