Karatina University students hold protests demanding VC’s removal

Karatina University

Protesting Karatina University students on December 2, 2020.

Photo credit: Stephen Munyiri | Nation Media Group

Karatina University in Nyeri County was Wednesday evening closed indefinitely after students engaged riot police in day-long running battles resulting to injuries and damage to property.

The decision to close the institution was reached during a meeting of the university’s senate, according to a letter seen by Nation which was signed by the registrar, Dr Wangari Githuthi.

“The Senate in its special meeting held today has deliberated and resolved to postpone all exams that had been scheduled until further notice. All students are directed to clear from the university with immediate effect," read the letter.

The rioting students who talked to the Nation demanded the removal of the vice chancellor, Prof Muchiri Muchai, whom they accused of high handedness.

The students also claimed they were being forced to sit exams yet they had not covered the syllabus fully.

“We are striking because the vice chancellor does not want to listen to us. He wants us to sit exams which we have not studied for. We have been studying online at home yet he wants us to pay full school fees. He is forcing us to pay an exorbitant fee yet we have not learnt anything. Instead of listening to our grievances, he is chest-thumping," claimed one student.

They threatened not to resume classes and demanded the immediate removal of the Prof Muchai.

The VC declined to answer questions from the Nation and asked journalists to leave the university before he drove out of the compound.     

Earlier, business came to standstill at local trading centres of Gitunduti and Kagochi as the students who had barricaded all roads engaged about 100 anti-riot police officers in running battles.

Within the university, the students broke window panes as they threw stones at the police.

By 7pm the police were engaging the students in their hostels outside the main campus.


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