Outcry as riots to cost Egerton University students Sh229m

By Elijah Cherutich On Mon, 13 Jan, 2020 12:56 | 2 mins read
egerton university
Police officers clear a barricade set up by rioting Egerton University students on January 13, 2020. PHOTO | ELIJAH CHERUTICH | MEDIAMAX

Egerton University students at Njoro Campus on Monday engaged police in running battles outside the university for the third consecutive day.

The students have been protesting the decision of the University management to fine each of them Sh16,862 to cover damages caused during their demos in December 2019.

The angry students blocked several sections of the busy Njoro-Mau Narok Road near the university.

 According to reliable sources, the second and third year students — who reported to school three days ago — were to clear their fees and sign a form committing to pay the fine.

But the students protested over the fine, claiming it is a plot to rip off their parents of their hard-earned money.

In a letter to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the students accused the school of seeking to mint Sh229 million from surcharge fees for damage caused to property during their protest.

“On 20th December 2019, the university released a notice on major newspapers stating that each student except the disabled to pay a surcharge fee of ksh16, 862 which it continued and stated that is aimed at repair, replacement of the destroyed property. The question is, what did we destroy to warrant collection of more than ksh229M?,” asked the students.

The students said they went on strike early December to stop the university from barring over 10,000 colleagues from sitting exams over fee arrears.

“As it can be seen from the so-called damages fee, it was a well-orchestrated plan by the administration to rip off our already poor parents/guardians to settle their financial problems. The demonstration was peaceful until the administration released riot officers who engaged the students on running battles leading to destruction of window panes in hostels and several buildings within the institution,” said the students.

But the students claim that should each of them pay the Sh16,862 fine, the school will end up collecting over Sh200 million, an astronomic figure compared to damage caused by their protests.

On Monday, the first-year and fourth-year students were already seeking to be admitted to the Campus as ordered by the administration.

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