NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi has called for increased security at public universities following the recent rape and murder of a student at Moi University.
Kaimenyi on Monday said such incidents are unacceptable as students should feel safe in their campuses in order to focus on their studies.
“There are not very many of course but you get isolated cases of rape, of murder and when one of our students is affected, it affects all of us so these are matters we must address without fear,” he stressed.
He advised university managements to re-evaluate security measures they have in place and ensure they have a security policy in place.
The rape and murder of the third year Arts and Social Sciences Moi University student led to protests that culminated in the torching of a police vehicle meant to ferry the body dumped outside a hostel to the morgue.
“They don’t want to see police in the vicinity… they are accusing them of failing to protect them,” a student told Capital FM News at the time.
A university ambulance later transported the female student’s body to the morgue.
Dr Hukka Wario, the Garissa University College Council Chair, joined Kaimenyi in expressing concern over the increasing number of student deaths.
He attributed this – in a report he presented to Kaimenyi – as one of the major causes of student unrest.
“How many times have we seen University of Nairobi students take to the streets in reaction to the death of one of their own?” he posed.
Kaimenyi also addressed another case of unrest at the University of Eldoret; calls for the removal of the Vice Chancellor Teresa Akenga who was accused of basing recruitment on tribe.
But Kaimenyi said he would not take any action as the university’s council had not forwarded any complaints regarding her performance to his office.
He instead turned the tribalism table on her accusers: ‘You cannot have people of the same tribe running what is meant to be a universal institution,” he said.
Kaimenyi was speaking at a consultative forum between his ministry, Vice Chancellors of all public and private universities and chairpersons of university councils on causes of student unrest.