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Kirinyaga University kicks out 35 students in fees row

By Munene Kamau | Published Tue, January 10th 2017 at 00:00, Updated January 9th 2017 at 21:55 GMT +3
A section of the suspended students from Kirinyaga University led by their president Kipchumba Vincent at a press conference in Kerugoya town yesterday. PHOTO: MUNENE KAMAU/STANDARD

Tension is high at Kirinyaga University after 35 students were suspended for four academic years for allegedly boycotting lectures.

The 35, mostly first-year and fourth-year students, have since been served with suspension letters dated December 19, 2016 and have since been ejected from the institution.

The shocked students, now stranded in private hostels, asked Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i to intervene and have them readmitted.

The letters were signed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration and Students Affairs, Prof Charles Omwadho.

"In the light of the evidence presented to the disciplinary committee on December 15, you were found guilty of contravening the Kirinyaga University statutes by leading a boycott of scheduled classes and field trip," the letter says.

The punishment follows boycott of lectures and trips organised by the university on November 10 and 11 last year.

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The students were not happy that the university had increased school fees without consulting them and this led to the closure of the university.

At the same time, the university was accused of asking some students to pay Sh5,000 for a trip to the neighbouring Nyeri County, a return trip that would ordinarily cost Sh400 using public means.

One of those affected is Philip Keah, a fourth-year student, who was only a semester away from clearing his course. Other students accused the university of dictatorial tendencies and intimidating those opposed its "outdated rules". 

Third-year student Veronica Jerotich told of the shock that hit her parents on receiving the news of her suspension. "I learnt of my suspension through my colleagues. I was home to collect money to pay fees," Jerotich said, adding the disciplinary committee refused to hear her out.

Vice chancellor Mary Wambui Ndung'u hung up when The Standard called her for a comment.

Earlier, the university unleashed nine guards on a KTN crew that was also seeking an interview with Prof Ndung'u over the suspensions. The guards manhandled the journalists before forcibly ejecting them from the institution.

The guards said they had strict instructions from their bosses not to allow journalists into the university.

Before they were suspended, the students had been summoned by the disciplinary committee, through a letter signed by acting Registrar Wollace Kamau, on December 6 last year.

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