NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 22 – The University of Nairobi has expelled 33 students following recent violent protests over disputed union elections.
Those expelled include Mike Jacobs who was contesting against incumbent Babu Owino for the post of Students Organisation of Nairobi University (SONU) Chairman.
The university’s Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Mbithi on Friday announced that “33 students have been expelled, 25 suspended and 17 pardoned. In addition, 143 students have been reprimanded.”
The university had suspended 193 students following the strike that rocked the city, leading to the closure of the institution that has a reputation of holding protests occasionally – including over power black outs.
Mbithi said those expelled have a right to appeal the decision as the university prepares to re-open on May 3.
“The College of Health Sciences – Level 5 Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery will report on Monday April 25, 2016, while the rest of the students who were in session before the closure on April 5, 2016 will re-open on May 3, 2016,” he said.
Further, he said the Independent Election Petitions Panel received 17 petitions arising from the 2016 SONU elections. The panel has heard and finalised four petitions and is currently writing rulings on 12 petitions. One petition has not started.
The Vice-Chancellor revealed that the Senate Committee that was appointed to audit the activities of SONU and review its electoral process with a view to making it more accountable and responsible to the needs of students and the University has produced a preliminary report of their findings. A complete report will be tabled in the next Senate meeting.
The university has also made improvements in the condition of halls of residence by making repairs and maintenance, lighting the surrounding environment and cleaning the hostels and halls of residence. Students applying for hall accommodation will be required to abide by certain rules and regulations so as to maintain order, safety and cleanliness.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) is separately undertaking an investigation into the assault on the students during the protests two weeks ago.
IPOA earlier this week announced that it had gathered sufficient evidence showing that General Service Unit (GSU) officers had assaulted the students on State House Road, contrary to assertions by the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet who dismissed a video clip that went viral showing officers caning the students.