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Find Mercy’s killers or we riot students warn

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 27 – University of Nairobi students on Monday gave the police a three-day ultimatum to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of their colleague, Mercy Keino, who was murdered on the night of June 17 before her body was dumped on Waiyaki Way.

Led by the SONU (Students Organisation of Nairobi University) Chairman Babu Owino, the students vowed to hold demonstrations on Waiyaki Way and Uhuru Highway on Wednesday arguing that the police were dragging their feet over the incident.

Mr Owino demanded that thorough investigations be carried out before Wednesday to ensure that the mystery was solved.

"The explanation given by the police, that she was a hit-and-run victim, should be sold to the birds in the air. It is obnoxious and has caused a lot of distress to us," he said.

"It is always very hard for the government to investigate itself. We are very sure that Mercy was never involved in an accident and she was not intoxicated," said SONU speaker David Ocholla.

The students also demanded for the formation of a parliamentary inquiry to investigate Ms Keino’s death claiming that the university had lost six students in mysterious circumstances in the past four months.

Mr Owino accused the government of neglecting issues raised by university students noting that the night guards who allegedly killed a second year student in March had not yet been prosecuted.

They added that the murder of GPO Oulu, who doubled up as a student leader and activist, had also not yet been solved.

"It has become the norm for University of Nairobi students to be murdered in cold blood so we are asking why all these things are happening," he said.

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"The culprits of GPO Oulu\’s extra judicial murder have never been brought to book even though he died in 2009," he observed, in reference to the cold-blooded shooting of a civil rights activist near the university three years ago.

SONU faculty representative Glen Mandela also warned politicians to leave female students at the college alone saying they were taking advantage of them.

"We are also going to expose the names and the evidence we have against those MPs who come to pick and drop ladies in our school. Their relationship with our colleagues always ends in a sad note," Mr Mandela said.

They also asked Nairobi residents to bear with them if things got out of hand on Wednesday saying they didn\’t have a choice.

"We know that it\’s the common mwananchi who feels the heat when we strike but we want them to know that we were also common wananchis before we became comrades and we are aggrieved," said Mr Owino.

"Even Mercy\’s parents are wananchis," they quipped.

Mr Owino added that the Director of Public Prosecutions should fast track the process.

The Universities Student Leaders Association, Kenya (USLA-K) also announced its support to SONU\’s planned demonstrations.

"It is a big blow to us because within a very short period of time we have lost students in ways that cannot be understood," said Secretary General Nandalwe Wanjala.

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