The Star (Nairobi)

27 November 2012

Kenya: Kimathi University Students Loot Shops in Insecurity Riots

CHAOS erupted in Nyeri town yesterday when more than 2,000 Kimathi University students were demonstrating over insecurity in their hostels.

The students from the university, which is about five kilometres away, looted shops, stoned vehicles and robbed passengers of their belongings.

United Democratic Forum presidential aspirant Musalia Mudavadi, who was campaigning in the town, left when the chaos erupted. One of his vehicle was stoned in the melee but nobody was hurt.

However, matatu operators and businessmen, backed by more than 2000 youths, drove the students out of the town after police were overwhelmed. The youths were armed with rungus and other weapons.

Scores of students were seriously injured as they engaged the youths in running battles. Business in the town came to a standstill for about four hours with most of the residents seeking refuge at the Nyeri police station for fear of being attacked.

The students had earlier blocked all roads major roads leading to town, including the Nyeri-Nyahururu and the Kiganjo-Nyeri highways. They also uprooted sign boards on the highways, which they blocked with stones.

Most of the residents blamed the police for allowing the students in the town. The university principal Ndirangu Kioni was also caught up in the melee.

The students were protesting over insecurity around the hostels near the university. Armed thugs raided the student's hostels last weekend and stole their property, which angered the students," said a worker at the university who requested not to be named

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