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University students' union leaders expelled

By Augustine Oduor | November 1st 2014

Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) is on the spot for disbanding and expelling students' union officials after they protested to demand clarity on engineering programmes accreditation.

The TUM Students Association president Benmark Nganga, his deputy Nathan Mutugi Nkonge, and the secretary general Njimia Muchiri, have all been expelled from the university.

Walter Korir, the deputy president in charge of Academic Affairs has been suspended for one academic year while accommodation secretary John Otieno Odero, has been issued with a warning letter.

Education PS Belio Kipsang, said the TUM students issue is being addressed. "The university administration is working on it and many other persons are involved in this process," said Kipsang.

Dismissal letters seen by 'The Standard on Saturday' indicate that the decision was arrived at following deliberations of the university disciplinary committee.

The charges levelled against the students reads: "Inciting fellow students to disrupt and boycott classes; malicious or wilful damage to university property; involvement in demonstration without permission; engaging in acts of violence, unruly behaviour and conduct that caused breach of peace and disturbance within and outside the university.'

But speaking this week, the students denied the allegations. "We invite you to come to the university. Not even a dustbin was destroyed. The students demonstrated a high level of maturity," said Nganga.

He said the dates listed on some of the university documents to constitute discipline points are false.

"They have mixed dates when students demonstrated against delayed release of Higher Education loans Board (Helb) with the peaceful protests that agitated for answers on Engineering programmes," he said.

However, the letters dated October 24, read: "During the deliberations and your submissions before the committee, it was agreed that you were guilty of the charges against you. Consequently, you are expelled from TUM with immediate effect."

Deputy vice-chancellor Laila Abubakar, signed the letters. The university says the affected students have an option of appealing the decision of the disciplinary committee to the vice-chancellor.

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