Chuka University in Tharaka-Nithi County has been closed indefinitely following student unrest over disputed elections of their union and an alleged poor performance during the latest university rankings in Kenya. Chuka university emerged position 43 only managing to beat Highlands University. They also torched one of their college buses in protest of the Chuka University Student Council elections conducted on January 29. The elected leaders were to be sworn in Monday.
Anti-riot police arrested 15 students who were looting shops at the nearby Ndagani market forcing other businesses to close down. The police had received calls about the looting and responded quickly. Some who had come to maintain law and order were forced to throw teargas canisters to students who were violently protesting.
The group are reported to have stoned several buildings causing damage worth millions of shillings. Reports also indicate that the rioting group almost brought down a restaurant and caused injuries to several business men who were guarding their commodities.
One of the chairmanship aspirant, Mr Kennedy Waringa, went to the university’s tribunal to contest the outcome claiming the elections were not fair and transparent. It is said that angry students demanded for the repeat of the electoral process. They called on the administration to ensure that more resources are allocated towards enhancement of the study in the institution.
Chuka University Vice-Chancellor Erastus Njoka declined to comment on the matter saying the university would remain closed until further notice.
This is not the first time that a Kenyan university is being closed down over student union elections. Kenyatta University, Egerton University, Moi University and Maseno university have had similar problems in the past. Maseno university students almost brought down the entire administration block for allegedly finding out that some political aspirants had colluded with the administration to impose their rule over them.