Pwani University closed following students unrest

Pwani University in Kilifi was Thursday evening closed following mounting tension after students who were suspended over fee arrears refused to leave the campus.

An official who attended the university Senate meeting and who asked not to be named told The Standard that "the university has been closed due to insecurity posed by students who have not paid fees and insist that they should be allowed to continue learning without paying fees."

The university had Monday ordered students who have not paid tuition fees for the second semester to defer their studies until they complete payment.

The university's Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Finance Professor Mwakio Tole told The Standard that "those who have not completed paying tuition fees have been told to defer their studies until they pay”.

Professor Tole confirmed that those who have not met the deadline could not be allowed to sit for examinations that were scheduled to begin on February 15, adding that "about 30 per cent" of the student body is affected.

He claimed that although the affected students had been asked to leave the campus "they are still hanging around and inciting" other students.

The Standard established that about 900 students have been ordered to leave the university. They, however, gathered inside and outside the campus on Thursday demanding to be allowed to sit the examinations and complete the academic year. 

A notice posted on boards in the university on Monday says only those who will have completed the fees by February 13 will be allowed to sign the nominal roll to enable them access university services.

"This is to inform all students who paid their tuition fee by Saturday 13th February 2016 to sign the normal roll by Wednesday 17th February to enable them access university services," reads the notice that also says those who "have not paid tuition fees by February 13 are advised to take off ...."

The president of the Pwani University Students Association Mr Wilson Shoka, said many students including final year students could lose this academic year after this ultimatum.