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UoN VC Peter Mbithi tells police his life in danger over plot to kill him

EDUCATION
By CYRUS OMBATI | May 23rd 2016
University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Peter Mbithi (left) presents a gold medal to Victor Juma, who was the best male overall student at the institution. [PHOTO: BEVERLYNE MUSILI/STANDARD]

KENYA: University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Peter Mbithi has informed the police he has been receiving death threats.

Prof Mbithi recorded a statement last Thursday following reports that some students and university staff have been meeting to plan attacks on him and the institution.

He first visited the Nairobi Area Directorate of Criminal Investigations offices to file his report and later a statement was recorded in his office.

Nairobi Head of DCI Nicholas Kamwende said they are investigating the allegations and have taken statements from the VC and other parties mentioned.

“The probe will cover many other areas to establish if the confessions made so far are true. We will talk to all concerned parties as part of our probe,” he said.

This comes following what police termed as confessions by some students and outsiders that there were plans to attack students and burn property over a leadership row at the institution.

Those aware of the confessions said meetings were held in two Nairobi restaurants and Limuru to plan the recent violence that was witnessed at the institution. Others have sworn affidavits making the claims.

“The attackers apparently included students and outsiders, who had been hired. They also planned to harm some university staff, attack students and burn more property as part of efforts to destabilise the institution,” said an officer, citing the confessions made on record so far. 

MPS’ PLOT

Police said confessions by some of those questioned have implicated a number of MPs from Nairobi and Kiambu counties alleged to have attended a series of meetings that preceded the violence.

They claimed some of the MPs were supporting particular candidates for Sonu leadership and in return, those in office would mobilise students to register in their constituencies as voters.

Other MPs, according to the reported confessions, were plotting the removal of Mbithi.

Mbithi refused to comment on the matter yesterday, saying it was under investigations.

Security has also been beefed up at the university’s female students’ hostels following reports that hired goons have planned attacks.

Already police are investigating an incident where some students went on the rampage last week and destroyed property valued at millions of shillings as they protested a ban to cook in their hostels. Insiders said the riots were part of the scheme by some people opposed to the university leadership to continue undermine the same.

The students vandalised a tent, stole music systems, public address system and burnt some as they went on the rampage, forcing a registration exercise that had been organised by the US embassy and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to be cancelled.

PROPERTY DESTROYED

Among property the students destroyed were the university mess and kitchen, which they set on fire.

The students said they resorted to the destruction after their cooking and heating appliances were taken from the hostels following the institution’s closure over protests.

The organisers of the event said their equipment valued at millions of shillings were stolen and vandalised in the riots and asked that the matter be probed.

The students also stoned and stole from motorists. Artistes including Juliani, Khaligraph Jones, Octopizzo, Sarabi, and Sauti Sol had been scheduled to perform for free.

This comes more than a month after the students went on the rampage and destroyed property over the results of student leaders’ elections.

The students were opposed to the election of Babu Owino as union chairman. His competitor Mike Jacobs disputed the elections, prompting riots and subsequent closure of the university for more than two weeks. Some students were expelled over the riots.

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