Meru University Students Ignore Closure Notice, Demands Release of Union Leaders

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Meru University

Students of Meru University of Science and Technology on Monday engaged police in running battles at Nchiru Market even after the institution was closed over unrest.

They refused to leave the institution despite it being closed. They want their school fees reduced.

Students lit bonfires as early as 6am and blocked the Meru-Maua road with stones, before police moved in to restore order.

BARRICADES

The students regrouped later in the morning and blocked a long stretch of the road. More anti-riot police officers were deployed to clear the way for motorists.

Students’ association Secretary-General Evans Njoroge said Chairman Wangila Wabomba was arrested on Monday morning.

Other students were arrested during the riots, he added.

“We will continue airing out our grievances through the language they understand best. We will fight hard and let the world know that immediate action is necessary to salvage this institution,” Mr Njoroge said.

LOSSES

Businesspeople at Nchiru Market were forced to close their shops as the rioting students engaged police at the shopping centre and neighbouring villages.

By 2pm, students were still engaging police in a cat-and-mouse game as they kept blocking the road and then disappearing into nearby villages.

The university’s main campus in Nchiru was closed indefinitely on February 1, after students held demonstrations demanding lower fees and provision of clean water, among other issues.

On February 2, the students trekked 15 kilometres to a farmers’ meeting in Miathene and demanded that Tigania West MP John Mutunga address them.

The Nchiru business community has written a memorandum to the government complaining about frequent student riots that have led to losses.

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