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Machakos University closed indefinitely

Machakos University closed indefinitely after students protest rising cases of insecurity. [File, Standard]

Machakos University has been closed indefinitely and its over 8,000 students were ordered to immediately vacate the institution following violent protests over insecurity in the town.

Vice Chancellor, Lucy Irungu said on Wednesday the move was necessitated by the need to safeguard the security of students and staff within the institution.

“Due to the evolving insecurity situation around the university and the ongoing students’ demonstrations, a special meeting convened on December 7, 2022, resolved that the university be closed with immediate effect,” Prof Irungu said in an internal memo seen by The Standard.

The VC said further communication will be made in due course.

Several incidents of serious insecurity incidents affecting university students and other residents have been reported in the past few weeks.

Students’ demos were triggered by an incident in which a student died after being stabbed by thugs who also robbed him in the outskirts of the university.

The rioting students engaged police in day-long running battles in Machakos town where they barricaded Machakos-Wote road and pelted motorists with stones.

However, one of the students sustained a gunshot wound and was admitted to Machakos level 5 hospital where he reportedly succumbed on the morning of Wednesday, December 1, prompting fresh violent protests.

Police have already arrested the officer implicated in the student’s shooting. The Directorate of Criminal Investigations has also confirmed a total of nine firearms including five pistols, three G-3 rifles and one AK-47 assault rifle have been seized from different police officers.

“They [the firearms] will be subjected to forensic ballistic analysis at the DCI national forensic laboratory to scientifically ascertain which firearms were misused while quelling the riotous students,” reads a statement from the DCI.

Last Monday, Governor Wavinya Ndeti held a meeting with the senior county security officials where she pledged a swift restoration of order in the town.