Polytechnic student recounts rough-up by watchmen

Fredrick Oduor Otieno a student of Sang’alo Institute of Science and Technology-Bungoma who was allegedly beaten up by security guards. 

A college student, seen in a Friday evening viral video where two guards were allegedly beating him up, has said he lost consciousness during the assault and “almost died.”

Fredrick Oduor Otieno of Sang’alo Institute of Science and Technology-Bungoma said that if it were not for fellow female students who shouted at the guards to stop, it would have ended differently.

“What Kenyans saw came in the last part of the assault, they had torn my jacket, hit my head against the water taps, beat me on the back, and strangled me several times before I fell unconscious when a student recorded the last minutes of it as they (guards) continued with the assault prompting the female colleagues to demand that they free me,” alleges the civil engineering student.

His fellow students carried out aid on their former student representative whose mistake, he claimed, was to set foot in the school in readiness for a rugby tournament.

Otieno said he was training with Sang’alo rugby team through the week and that when he turned up to travel for an inter-colleges competition, his coach asked him to wait as he consulted with the management on his travel arrangements.

“As I waited, the school’s security head, Lucas Wanjala, a former uniformed officer approached me from behind demanding that I step out of the school. Before I could respond he hit me in the back tearing my jacket as he called upon his junior from Pride Security,” he said.

He denied sneaking in the rugby pitch through the fence as the institution alleged, saying he walked in through the main gate just like he did through the week.

The principal of Sang’alo Dr Rosabella Chukwu Cheptoo condemned her student’s attack just as she came to his defense, saying the incident was an isolated case.

“The act (assault) was unfortunate even though the student was on the wrong by setting foot in the school. He led a strike last term and we banned him from the school,” she said.

“He (Otieno) injured one of our guards who has since filed a complaint with the police. But as an institution, we have taken up the assault case on the student and will be giving our verdict on Tuesday.”

Otieno has since denied assaulting a guard saying that could be a ploy to try to frustrate his pursuit of justice after the assault after the video went round on social media.

Asked whether the security firm entitled to guard the students (Pride Security), was prone to acting unprofessionally as is the perception among students, Dr Cheptoo said students were just that, students.

“You know them (students) if anyone becomes strict on his docket they will most certainly complain,” she said. “But we have apologised to the students’ fraternity about the incident but are yet to reach the parents of the victim and the victim himself.”

Kennedy Maina a lawyer and rights activist who talked to the Standard said he took the victim to the hospital.

“I realised he was suffering and taking him for medical care was a natural thing to do as we look to help him back to his studies,” he said.

Otieno said that he was verbally banned from the school and whenever he requested for a written suspension or expulsion letter he is roughed up and chased out of the school.

“Studying Civil Engineering needs concentration but the school management won't let me be, from beating me up on sight to denying me exams. I don't know what to tell my father about the status of my education,” he said.