EXCLUSIVE: Striking Moi University Students Forced to Pay Millions Over Broken Windows

  • Public university strikes often leave a trail of destroyed property and injuries but these institutions always find a way of making the rowdy students compensate for the losses.

    Moi University, on Wednesday, October 16, through a memo signed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof. Isaac Kimengi, students were issued with a 7-day notice to pay a total of Ksh69, 025,000 for broken windows in the administration block and the students' cafeteria.

    "Following the senate meeting held on Wednesday, October it has decided that academics at the main campus will resume on Tuesday, October 22. Also, all students are required to pay Ksh 6,275 for damages made during the illegal demonstration on October 11," read the memo in part.

    An old vehicle set on fire during the October 11 strike in Moi University. The university on Wednesday, October 16, ordered students to pay Ksh 6,275 for damages caused.

    According to an official who declined to be mentioned since he is not authorised to speak for the institution, he exclusively spoke to Kenyans.co.ke stating that the university had established that most of the damages were however done outside the University premises.

    "The University did an assessment of property destroyed in stage (an off-campus residence). The complaints were raised by locals who demanded compensation, prompting the University to conduct the assessment thus settling on the Ksh6,275 per student," he disclosed.

    However, some of the students who spoke on condition of anonymity complained that the institution was only looking for a means to milk money from them.

    "Moi is only looking for a means to get money from us yet only two windows were broken on the administration block and a few in the mess," he complained.

    "If any property was destroyed, it was ours. Most students live at stage because the accommodation provided on campus is limited," added another.

    A 2-hour unrest on Friday, October 11, by students at the main campus based at Kesses in Eldoret led to the indefinite closure of the university.

    Some of the students who spoke to Kenyans.co.ke also complained that the amount was unreasonable, and so was the timeline to pay the money. They vowed to rally their colleagues to protest against the decision.

    In a span of one month, three other universities were closed indefinitely under similar circumstances. 

    Kenyatta, Pwani, and Masinde Muliro universities were closed on October 9, October 15, and September 18, respectively.

    Following the increasing unrest in public universities, Embakasi East Member of parliament, Babu Owino, on Tuesday, October 16, held a press conference to address these issues.

    He claimed that his contacts at the various universities claimed that vice-chancellors had devised a way of paying hooligans kickstarted protests, then promptly close the institutions temporarily and require students to report back with exorbitant amounts of money, which he claimed are pocketed. 

    "Due to the constant unrest and frustrations experienced by the students, we have decided to form the Central Organization of Students Unions (COSU) will protect the inherent rights of students as enshrined in the apex of the law," Owino posted on Twitter.

    The Memo issued by Moi University on Wednesday, October 16 over the resumption date and the destroyed property.
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