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Univeristy students charged over demonstrations

COUNTIES
By Peace Loise Mbae | September 24th 2015

Eleven university students were yesterday charged before a magistrate's court in Nairobi with unlawful assembly following a demonstration.

The students from University of Nairobi and Technical University of Kenya pleaded not guilty before Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku, and were released on a Sh50, 000 bond with a surety of a similar amount or a cash bail of Sh20, 000.

Ms Mutuku also directed the prosecution to supply the defence with documents they would use in the case.

Defence lawyer Daniel Bosire said the charges against the students were unfair since they had already informed police they would hold the demonstrations as a result of delayed funds from the Higher Education Loans Board.

Bosire said some students had stayed at home for a year for lack of fees, adding that police acted in malice by arresting the students and failing to arrest the leaders who had led the demonstration.

"The chairman of the group was not arrested yet he led the demonstration. The role of student leaders is to advocate for students' rights which is not an offence," he said.

State Counsel Duncan Ondimu told the court that the students had participated in blocking roads, disrupting peace and destroying property during the demonstration, and their intentions were not peaceful at all.

The case will be heard on November 20 with a mention on October 7.

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