Kirinyaga University students engage police in running battles after colleague is killed by thugs

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 13 Jun, 2022 12:59 | 3 mins read
Student who sneaked tear gas into school claims it belonged to police officer
Tear gas canister used for illustration. PHOTO/Internet.
Police recovered an exploded canister, which is being held as exhibit as investigations into the incident continue. [PHOTO | FILE]

Kirinyaga University students went on a rampage Sunday evening, June 12 2022, to protest against the rise of insecurity within Kutus town in Kirinyaga County.

Initially, the students had planned a candlelit vigil to mourn a colleague who passed away following an alleged attack last week along the Kutus Kagio road.

Kirinyaga University. PHOTO/Courtesy
Kirinyaga University entrance. PHOTO/Courtesy

However, hell broke loose when the police tried to disperse them in order to open up traffic flow on the Kutus Kagio road which had been brought to a halt by a large number of students on the road.

The students demonstrated resistance forcing the police to use tear gas canisters to disperse them but they ended up being engaged in a game of cat and mouse by the hundreds of students who blocked the road by lighting fire on the tarmac.

They also pelted stones at any vehicle that tried to force its way through the blocked road.

"We left school right before 7:00 pm with a candlelit vigil and we planned to assemble where one of our colleagues was attacked, but when the police arrived, they tried to disperse us but we resisted," a student said.

Insecurity in Kirinyaga University

They accuse the police of neglecting their plight arguing that the security officers have not been doing enough to get rid of the criminals who have been attacking and robbing them, especially during the night.

"We report cases of robbery to the police and they say that they will investigate but then nothing happens. That is why we have staged this protest so that they can address the issue of insecurity in Kutus town," another student said.

They say that there is a notorious gang which has been terrorizing them at night when they are heading to their hostels outside the University.

"We have had rape cases, attempted rape incidents several students have also been stubbed while others have been robbed off laptops, phones as well as money."

The institution is situated in Kutus, a town that sits at the border of four sub-counties; that is Mwea East, Mwea West, Kirinyaga East and Kirinyaga Central sub-counties.

This, the students argue that it creates confusion on which police station one is supposed to report to in case of an attack by suspected criminals.

"There is a police station on the side of Mwea, another one in Kabare ward in Kirinyaga East and the University is in Kirinyaga Central, so where do you report? a student only identified as Teresia posed.

However, Kirinyaga county police commander Mathew Mang'ira said that investigations have been launched on all the reported cases in a bid to establish the culprits so that they can face the law.

"Immediately it is reported we do follow it up until the last minute, and these students should know that these cases are very serious and they should report them immediately," the police boss said.

He also urged the students to feel free to report an incident in any of the police stations within Kutus town as they are all meant to serve the public.

"We will beef up security in that place but in the time being they should make use of the two police stations. When it comes to combating crime, there are no boundaries," Mang'ira said.