Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust) has been closed indefinitely following students unrest.
The students yesterday went on rampage protesting the management demand that all students must have zero balance before registering for courses and sitting for exams.
The students also claimed the university hasn’t addressed the frequent death of students. At least eight students have lost their lives mysteriously since January this year.
The rowdy students pelted stones at the vehicles in the car parking yard within the university premise, shuttering all windows of the university ambulance. They also pushed a seven-seater matatu and used it to block the entrance to the Vice Chancellor’s office.
“The university special Senate meeting held today (yesterday), has resolved to close the university with immediate effect because of student’s unrest. All students are instructed to vacate the university premises by 2.pm,” read an internal memo signed by the Acting Registrar for Academic Affairs, Thomas Sakwa.
At least 15 students were seriously injured and over 50 arrested. Majority of the arrested are first years who reported two weeks ago. A second year student is fighting for her life at a local hospital after she was mercilessly clobbered by police officers called in to contain the rampage.
The student slipped and fell when scampering for safety. The officers descended on her with kicks and slaps.
According to the students’ leader, Vincent Lumala, the institution had also locked out students from sitting for their special and supplementary examinations despite having paid for the exams.
Mr Lumala said the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system had been configured leading to the loss of students marks and fee balances.
“The ERP system, where student’s results are uploaded and fees payment reflected is inaccessible,” he said.
He added: “There are Third Year students who sat for their exams recently and cannot access the marks on the portal and after raising their complains to Prof Sakwa, he dismissed them.”
Lumala said the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) had not remitted the money to the student’s accounts, saying they met the university management and explained their position but what they agreed on was not implemented.
Kakamega Central Sub County Police Commander David Kabena said only five students had been arrested and dismissed claims that students had been injured. Kabena said the students had no permit to hold demonstrations.
The university has no substantive vice chancellor for the last 10 months with Asenath Sigot remaining the acting VC.