My life is in danger, Daystar student leader claims

Daystar University Student Association President Aloys Otieno
Daystar University Student Association President Aloys Otieno was last week charged at a Kibera Law Court with robbery with violence. The matter was then referred to the Director of Public Prosecution who asked that the charges be put on hold. The case will be mentioned in August. Hashtag reveals the sideshows of an institution grappling with management issues.

Arnold Bazenge, Antony Bake, Charles Mutua, Felix Gizuri and Isaac Otieno are accused of robbing Daystar’s security officer Grace Karimi Sh60,000, a mobile phone worth Sh12,000, and a handbag valued at Sh3,000 containing personal items.

The incident reportedly happened during a students’ boycott of classes over claims of goons dispatched to the institution to harass students.

Earlier this year, Daystar University studentsboycotted classes over a myriad issues ranging from mismanagement of funds and poor learning conditions. To rein in the situation, Daystar University allegedly opted to hire additional security agents to augment the services offered by the contracted security firm.

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The move, however, was met with resistance after students decried harassment by the additional security personnel. This was brought to the fore after videos circulated online showing Arnold Bazenge, DaystarUniversity Student Association (Dusa) Secretary General, being dragged out of the library by the alleged additional security officers.

Dusa president Aloys Otieno, who spoke exclusively to Hashtag, explains that he was at home when the boycott started and was prompted by social media reports to review the situation in his school.

By the time he arrived, he says, irate students had overpowered the unidentified men said to number more than six, and hounded them into the security room. Upon questioning, the ‘security agents’ claimed that they were acting on orders from above and refused to budge until they were paid Sh800 wages promised to each.

It is while trying to ascertain the account of these individuals, according to the Dusa chair, that Grace Karimi lost her valuables. Meanwhile, Aloys sought the assistance of the Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor James Kombo to assist the injured students, Arnold Bazenge and Charles Mutua, seek medical attention. They were then rushed to Nairobi West hospital before reporting the matter to Kilimani police station.

Thereafter, the matter went quiet until recently when Aloys was summoned by Kilimani OCPD to record a statement on the incident. Hashtag identified a charge sheet of the Aloys case alongside the students, O.B. NO 62/09/04/2018 with the complainant being Grace Kirimi. The witnesses mentioned in the case include some of high-ranking officersa in the institution including Professor Kombo, Professor Gatundu, Elijah Odongo, IP Sasi and CPL John Ashika.

Professor Kombo, when contacted by Hashtag, denied claims of being one of the witnesses refuting that he wrote a statement against Aloys accusing him of robbery with violence. “All I did was write a statement on the material day allowing the national security agencies to access the university. That has nothing to do with the robbery with violence statement against Aloys,” says Prof Kombo.

Hashtag reached out to Grace Karimi for her version of the incident but she refused to comment on the matter saying it’s just a matter of time before truth in this fiasco established before referring us to Kilimani OCPD Michael Muchiri who is leading the investigations

When Hashtag spoke to Mr Muchiri inquiring whether Prof Kombo recorded a statement with police implicating the student leaderagainst the charge he remained cagey.

“I can’t say anything…I think Professor Kombo recorded a statement with Kilimani Police Station, so maybe at the appropriate time those issues will be dealt with,” says Muchiri.

Another key witness Elijah Odongo who has been in-charge of Securex Security at Daystar for 14 months, but has since been transferred, explains that he was unknowingly drawn into the case.

“My name has been put as one of the witness, but I am not ready for that because she (Karimi) did not consult me. I cannot be a witness for what I don’t know,” says Odongo.

He further adds that he only wrote a statement and presented it to Karimi following the students boycott and didn’t know how it would be used against him before a court of law.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Bernard Boyo told Hashtag that the university sought to establish the facts of the matter about the students arrest warrants and even wrote to Kilimani OCPD on July 17 requesting that the case be halted until the university exhausted its internal processes to resolve the matter before seeking the university community to maintain calm.

Hitherto, Bazenge wrote an email to the management of the institution saying the lives of Dusa officials were in danger with plans in place to hurt their executive members.

Whatever is ailing the institution remains in the forensic audit report that was conducted by a contracted company One Source Finance Limited.

Until today, the findings of the report remain confidential with well-placed sources claiming it is because it implicates high-ranking officials in the institution.

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daystar universitystudent unrestAloys Otieno