Over 50 pro-Raila varsity students arrested, taken into custody

UoN student arrested

Anti-riot policemen arrest a student of the University of Nairobi during protests against the detention of an opposition legislator in Nairobi, Kenya, September 28, 2017. 

Photo credit: Courtesy

More than 50 university students were arrested and detained at Central Police Station in Nairobi on Saturday, after holding a press conference to drum up support for the Monday demonstrations called by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga.

The students were bundled in three vehicles and driven to the station where they were booked and detained, before being freed in the evening.

Earlier, University of Nairobi Students Council Secretary General, Vincent Nyakwach, said the organisation was in the process of securing freedom of those apprehended.

“The students were picked from Chester House early in the day. Police have taken their fingerprints and we are waiting to know if they will be granted cash bail,” Mr Nyakwach said.

By evening, Mr Nyakwach said, all the students had been released on free bail, but were asked to report at the station on Monday.

Central Police Station bosses declined to comment on the arrests.

Contacted by the Sunday Nation, Nairobi police boss Adamson Bungei said he had not received information on the arrest of the students.

“I’m not privy to that information. I have not been briefed on the incident,” he said

During the press briefing, the students said they would be part of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition demos.

Kenya University Students Organisation (Kuso) Nyanza Coordinator, Hannington Oguk, said during the presser that students across the country would show up for the demonstration in the City Centre.

“As sons and daughters of peasants, students cannot afford the rising cost of food, fuel and other basics. University students want to show solidarity with the demonstrations and mass action so that the government can increase the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) disbursements. Monday is all about suffering Kenyans,” Mr Oguk said.

Esther Gitaranga, another student leader, urged the government to provide security to the learners who will show up for the Monday marches.

“We are suffering as comrades because of lack of Helb loans and we are not comfortable with how things are going. We want to inform the government that we will show up. Let government agencies provide security for the demonstrators,” Ms Gitaranga said.