Kitui Varsity Dismisses Student Unrest Media Reports

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The South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU) on Sunday refuted media reports indicating student unrest at the institution.

In a statement issued on Sunday and seen by Kenyans.co.ke, the varsity dismissed reports aired by Citizen TV, K24 and other media outlets highlighting that students had protested ostensibly due to poor management by the institution’s administration.

“The university is operating normally, and optimally as we expect to receive the first-year students on Monday 25, September 2023 as earlier planned,” read part of the statement.

“Reports that SEKU students are on strike are false, fake, malicious news that should be treated with the contempt it warrants,” the report further read.

A photo of the South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU) in Kitui.

Photo

SEKU

In the statement, SEKU Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Francis Wachira asked staff and students to proceed normally assuring them of their safety while in campus. 

The Vice Chancellor also asked the two parties to report any instances hindering them from going about their activities at the school.

According to the media reports, the students had protested over vacuums in the  chancellor, vice chancellor, and council chair offices. 

Reportedly, the University Academic Staff Union (UASU) had given the Ministry of Education a one month deadline to resolve the leadership crisis at the institution.

UASU Kitui chapter Secretary, Mboya Kivai, questioned why the three sensitive positions had not filled and pointed fingers at the Ministry of Education for the mishap. 

Further compounding on the issue is the fact that, employees have not received their annual salary increase for the past four years. 

On Saturday, students rejected the new VC, Douglas Shitanda, citing concerns about his competence and potential impact on the institution’s progress.

“We are worried that the new VC will slow down the progress of the school and bring it to its knees,” added the chairman of the Postgraduate Students at SEKU David Mwangagi.

The business community in the vicinity of the school also expressed concerns about the new appointment, arguing that potential strikes in the region could severely impact their businesses. 

Douglas Shitanda was appointed by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu in August but has not yet assumed his duties.

With SEKU scheduled to hold a graduation ceremony in October, students are anxious because there is no Chancellor in place to confer the degrees and diplomas

They have appealed to Machogu and the Ministry to promptly address the issue.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu speaking on Wednesday, April 26, 2023.

Photo

Ministry of Education



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