Students living dangerously

Scholarstica Namwai Kamemba the last person to be seen with Ms Mercy Keino is seen here during the inquest September 10, 2012. Some university students want to live lifestyles that are beyond their means. PHOTO/STEPHEN MUDIARI

What you need to know:

  • The university cannot be made accountable for the moral life of a student especially if it happens outside the institution.

In 2012, Duncan Livingstone Kimanthi, a fourth year student at the United States International University (USIU) was arraigned in court suspected of being behind a kidnap-for-ransom ring.

On July 10, 2012 he was charged alongside Winnie Wairimu Kariuki a student at Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology with the murder of a fellow student.

Kimanthi is among a growing list of students whose education has been disrupted after finding themselves on the wrong side of the law.

The court was told that Kimanthi and Wairimu, together with others not before the court, Kidnapped Sarah Akello Aruwa, 24, a fourth year International Relations student at USIU.

They then used her phone to demand a Sh100,000 ransom from her parents.

“They wanted to evade the police so they did not use their phone numbers. Luckily, their victim had left behind contacts of a man who had invited her to his house. This helped detectives to arrest the suspects,” head of the Flying Squad, Nyale Munga told the court.

Ms Aruwa’s body was found in a thicket in Ngewa, Kiambu a day after her disappearance on June 30, 2012.

Flashy lifestyles

University life is getting dangerous. Some students want to live lifestyles that are beyond their means.

Others are just not careful with themselves.

The case of University of Nairobi’s Mercy Keino is a pointer to this.
Her body was found on Waiyaki Way on June 17, 2011 after she stormed out of a party in Westlands.
There is an on-going inquest into her death.

At one point a witness told the inquest that Ms Keino had taken a lot of alcohol prior to her death

Tests done on samples from her body revealed she was quite drunk before her death.

“It indicated a minimum intake of eight bottles of beer or 18 tots of whisky,” Eunice Wamuyu Njogu, a government chemist told the inquest.
On March 19, 2011, 22-year-old Denis Omondi Adari, a second year Engineering student at the same university died after allegedly being beaten by guards at a night club.

Omondi and five others had gone to the joint in Westlands but a row erupted leading to his fatal beating.
Are universities to blame?
“The university cannot be made accountable for the moral life of a student especially if it happens outside the institution.

If, for instance, the student is caught stealing, the university will not be called upon to account for the life of such a student,” said lawyer Okweh Achiando.

He however urges universities to administer guidance and counselling to their students.

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