Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has been closed until further notice following student unrest.
JKUAT Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Prof. Robert Kinyua, in a memo issued on Monday, said the Senate had in a special meeting resolved to shut down the institution.
Prof. Kinyua further directed all students to clear from the campus with immediate effect.
The institution’s main campus students earlier on took to the streets in protest against alleged security concerns in the area.
They engaged Juja Police Station officers in running battles accusing them of not doing enough to protect them, further accused area boda boda operators of colluding with criminals to rob unsuspecting students.
According to one of the students, cases of their colleagues being accosted by thugs and robbed off their belongings at knife-point have risen within the past couple of weeks.
The learner, who declined to be named, also stated that some of the reported incidents occurred as early as 6pm in the evening.
He also added that one of the most recent victims — a female student — is receiving treatment at the university hospital in critical condition.
A memo released by the Jomo Kenyatta University Students’ Association (JKUSA) on Saturday indicated that “two students have been stabbed in the last two weeks” and “a couple others have been attacked and their gadgets stolen within the same period.”
The students’ governing council, led by President Clinton Osoro and Secretary General Bruce Akach, added that engagements with the university as well as area security stakeholders had hit a brick wall.
“As JKUSA leadership, we wish to state that we have exhausted all avenues of dialogue and boardroom meetings yet we still have insecurity cases,” read the memo.
A consequent memo released Sunday invited the student fraternity for a peaceful demonstration due to “rampant cases of insecurity in Juja and total failure of the relevant authorities to protect comrades and their properties.”
“As per our JKUSA constitution, our leaders’ role is to protect the individual and collective rights of JKUAT students. We shall not sit and wait for any of us to die,” it stated.
By Ian Omondi