NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 27- Three students are among six people who were on Tuesday shot and seriously injured by police when they went to quell riots by Multimedia University students who were protesting against rogue drivers on the Ongata Rongai route.
But the protests that began peacefully turned chaotic when police lobbed teargas and opened fire to disperse the rioters who had blocked sections of Magadi Road outside the university, paralyzing transport for hours.
All those injured were first treated at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital in Ongata Rongai before some of them were transferred to the Kenyatta National Hospital for specialized treatment, according to a medic at the hospital.
Following multiple interviews at the hospital and with students, Capital News established that two of those shot were Multimedia University students while the third was a student at Moi University who had gone to visit a friend.
Two others were guards at Multimedia, while another was a by-standers hit by bullets during the violent confrontation.
One of the students was 24 years old Emmanuel Waswa who has a bullet lodged in his chest.
“He’s now stable ahead of the operation to remove it,” the medic, who sought anonymity, said.
Those rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital have serious bullet wounds on their legs.
“In both cases, one of their legs had been fractured by the bullet, “the medic said.
The students were protesting the death of their colleague who was among four people killed in Lang’ata Road accident that occurred on Sunday involving Ongata Line Sacco, as explained by student leader Omwayo Maranga
“These vehicles which we call Nganyas and Manyangas have killed one of our comrades and I as the President want to sanction all comrades plus the Rongai fraternity, we will not board any of these vehicles. We cannot continue to hear about the deaths of our comrades. The reckless driving along this road is very bad,” the student leader stated.
The students had lit bonfires to protest the death of 18 years old Cynthia Akoth, a fist year mass communication student, over the weekend, following an accident along Langata Road that claimed four lives and left 8 others seriously injured.
The protest, which started at 6 am turned chaotic after police lobbed teargas to disperse the agitated students who had barricaded the busy Magadi Road.
Akoth was a first year Mass Communication student at the University.
Police fired live bullets after the students started hurling stones at them injuring two officers, who were also rushed to hospital.
At some point, police pursued the students inside the institutions until the University administration intervened and urged them to withdraw.
A senior officer present during the demonstration when asked why police used live bullets against students only said: “We have no such report. Let them report to us.”
The students through their leader have vowed to boycott the Ongata Line Sacco vehicles.
According to Maranga, the vehicles, whose license have since been cancelled by NTSA will only, “use this route peacefully if they reform.”
He claimed the about 200 vehicles are owned by “cartels who seems to be untouchable despite complaining to the authorities.”
Just two months ago, the University had written to the National Transport and Safety Authority over the Sacco according to the University Security Chief Security Officer Francis Mugambi.
“There have been no actions against the rogue vehicles,” he protested.