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Let us cook or else - Moi University students make true their threat

Student cooking using a coil. [Photo Courtesy]

 

Moi University students have been ordered to vacate the institution as soon as possible after a memo was issued ordering the closure of the institution indefinitely following unrest.

But the main reason that fuelled the students' unrest, according to a student leader who sought anonymity, is a move by the management to effect a ban against cooking in hostels.

The law that prohibits cooking in hostels has been in existence but it was never effected by the management making the exrecise a norm.

The current lot of students joined the University finding the previous lot cooking in hostels.

According to the source, the meal quantity offered at the university’s cafeteria is unsatisfactory thus students resort to cooking for themselves.

But cooking in the hostels poses a great danger to the students as they use coils connected with live wires to an open hole designed for a socket.

Students say cooking in their rooms is also a way to save money as the university caters for electricity.

When Professor Laban Ayiro took over as the acting Vice-Chancellor in 2016, renovations of hostels commenced and whispers of effecting the law against cooking in hostels were heard.

However, students continued with the exercise

The replacement of Prof Ayiro by Prof Isaac Kosgei in 2018 came at a time when renovations of Hostel H were coming to an end.

Students who moved into the hostel equipped with smoke sensors were completely restrained from cooking.

According to our source, one of the measures the institution took was to reduce the electric currents where any loaded circuit would cause the main switch to trip, leading to power shortage.

The management also disconnected wires that penetrated the holes meant for sockets that students used to connect the coils.

As a result, some blocks experienced frequent power shortages and Hostel L went for more than a week without electricity.

Students went for the August holidays but when they returned in September, things were never the same.

Any student found cooking in hostels was reported to the Senate and would carry the coil with the food to the Administration Block.

A photo of a female student who was being escorted by guards to the administration block carrying a coil went viral last month after she was found cooking.

Several students have been reported to the Senate since the management cracked the whip on students who cook in hostels.

Moi University Student Organization (MUSO), in a memo dated October 9, asked students to assemble at the Students Center for a ‘peaceful gathering’ after the management failed to address the matters facing them.

Other issues the organization wanted to address were supplementary exam fee increments, shortened fee payment deadlines as well as poor management.

On October 10, the office of the dean of students released a memo declaring the gathering illegal and warned the students against it.

Letters from MUSO and the Dean's office. [Courtesy]

However, the students went ahead and gathered at the Students’ Center from where they started marching, while chanting the name of Ayiro, the source told Standard Digital.

Our source disclosed that Police officers had camped at the varsity’s premises early enough and started lobbing teargas canisters at the students.

The students started engaging the police officers who responded by firing rubber bullets.

Moments later the university administration issued a memo stating that the institution has been closed indefinitely saying university property of unknown value has been vandalised and officers attached to the institution have been injured in morning protests.