Police Arrest Kibabii Students Following Monday Riots

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Kibabii University in Kanduyi, Bungoma county was closed indefinitely on Monday following student unrest.

The more than three thousand students were sent home as protests against alleged harassment by the school management turned chaotic.

The students, who barricaded the Bungoma – Chwele road at the Kibabii shopping centre, engaged police in running battles for the better part of the day.

They lit bonfires at the university’s main entrance and destroyed properties of unknown value at the institution’s compound.

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The riotous students chased away security guards and lecturers before locking all the offices and smashing windows.

Normal business at the Kibabii shopping center was disrupted as the traders closed shops for fear of looting.

Police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the rowdy students; arresting 15 of them, eight being ladies and seven men.

Those arrested were taken to Bungoma police station.

The students, mostly third and fourth years, said that the school has refused to give them their results ahead of the institutions first graduation slated for November 18.

Kibabii was awarded a charter by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2015. The president is expected to attend the varsity’s first graduation ceremony.

Vice Chancellor Prof Shem Ayua told the press that the University senate held a meeting where it was decided to close the school after the students became unruly.

Ayua said that some of the grievances the students put forward have already been dealt with by the school.

“We know the students had protested before for lack of adequate seats that had forced them to carry the same from one lecture hall to the other,” he said.

“We have purchased 300 from Kisumu and others are being made here at the school,” the VC said.

He said that the institution had also addressed concerns of shortage of lecturers, especially in the faculty of education which was the most affected.

Ayua said that its true that some of the students who have not cleared fees arrears might miss out on the graduation – an issue that has also irked the students.

He asked the students who have not cleared the fees and are set to graduate to find a way of paying the same since the institution cannot operate without cash.

Bungoma county AP commander Paul Soi said those arrested will be charged with causing commotion and malicious destruction of the school’s property.

This is the third time, in a span of one year, that the students have rioted. In March, the varsity was also closed following chaotic elections.

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