Egerton University has again hit headlines due to an exorbitant damage fees meted on over 13000 students a month ago. Today, the university has acquired the services of several police officers with chase cars to ensure that peace is maintained as students stream in at the gate. The officers who arrive at the institution hours ago boarding three police cars are camping at the gate ensuring that only those who have paid fees and the total damage fees access the university premises.
This comes even as parents and guardians are still awaiting a ruling by the high court after seeking its permission to halt the collection of the said fees until the nature and degree of the mentioned damages are ascertained and proper cost calculated. The parents argued that the University was in debt and is facing suctions from KRA over more than 800 million shillings unpaid taxes.They claimed that the management seemed to have taken advantage of the situation to raise the said amount and pay KRA which has been reported to be in custody of the institution’s title deed.
The students have been asked to pay close to 17,000 shillings each to cater for damages cost when they went on strike. The university indicated in an earlier memo that the amount will be used to repair and refurbish structures destroyed.
The students through their leaders had vowed not to pay the amount arguing that the management had set them up to go on strike and extort them thereafter. Through a hashtag #EgertonHeist, the students and alumni highlighted how the institution has been threatening student leaders and expelling a number of them for championing for their rights. They also alleged poor services as the reason behind the back to back demonstrations they have been having at the institution. The students urged the DCI to launch an investigation in the whole ‘saga’ listing among others, the famous gate which is said to have costed the university millions of shillings.
The students are currently using the Hashtag #EgertonImputy to call for help from the relevant authorities. It is currently trending top on Twitter.
Professor Rose Mwonya, the vice chancellor at the institution has since maintained her position on the matter choosing to throw her weight behind the directive given by the Senate and their explanations. The VC a year ago won a fierce battle against the University Council which had thrown her under the bus and named Prof Alexander Kahi as the interim vice chancellor. She was reinstated by the Court and the case against her by the council was subsequently dismissed.
The University has also suspended seven student leaders for allegedly leading the Demonstrations last year.
Egerton has been at the center of controversies for over 15 years. Several years ago, one of the staff members turned a whistle blower revealing that the institution had more than 5,000 ghost workers and was losing more than 100 million shillings each month due to corruption.