We will not suffer in silence, University students say, pledge to join anti-government protests

Maseno University

Maseno University main gate. A student at the institution died during the Monday March 20 anti-government protests.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

University students have now declared that they will join Azimio leader Raila Odinga’s mass protests accusing the government of failing to reign over the skyrocketing cost of living.

The Kenya University Students Organisation (Kuso) president, Anthony Imanyara said that they will organize and participate in the weekly demonstrations to push the government to address the myriad of challenges facing Kenyans.

Speaking in Kisumu on Wednesday, Mr Imanyara, who was flanked by colleagues from various institutions of higher learning, said university students will stand to be counted among Kenyans who have joined hands to defend their rights.

“Our students are suffering and forced to miss meals due to the high cost of living while Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) has not disbursed funds since November last year,” he said.

“I am appealing to Mr Odinga to consider conducting anti-government protests three times a week until our demands are fully met,” he added.

He reiterated that they will not be cowed by the fatal shooting of a Maseno University student during the Monday March 20 demonstrations.

“While we commit to conducting ourselves in a peaceful manner, we will resist and retaliate with equal measure any brutal force that will be meted on any of our comrades," Mr Imanyara said.

Kuso deputy president Rachael Tabitha added that it was unfortunate for the police to use live bullets on unarmed student exercising their democratic right as enshrined in Article 37 of the Kenyan constitution.

She accused the police of issuing false statement that the deceased was among rioters who stormed Maseno Police Station.

“It is regrettable that even after officers restrained themselves, and acted within the law; and effectively contained the situation, rioters invaded Maseno Police Station, hurling stones at police officers and property, and in the process, we lost one male student from Maseno University,” said Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome.

According to the student leaders, three other students who were seriously injured during the confrontation at the institution are currently admitted at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH).