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Seven injured as varsity students protest in city centre

Public university students took to the streets on Tuesday to protest against the proposed fee increment, even as Education Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi insisted that the government had no such plans.

The students held their demonstration from University Way, to Uhuru Highway and to Parliament road where some student leaders were arrested.

Six students sustained minor injuries during the demonstrations. They were treated and discharged at the Nairobi University clinic.

University of Nairobi’s secretary general Jim Akatch was arrested and detained at KICC police station as the students marched towards Parliament road.

Kenyatta University students did not take part in the countrywide protests.

Kenyatta University Students Association (kusa) chairman Lone Felix said they prefer to dialogue with the government.

“My students are in class and there are no intentions of marching to the streets. We will wait for dialogue,” said the law student.

Scores of businesses in the city centre closed temporarily as anti-riot police engaged students in running battles.

The student leaders claim the government plans to increase fees for students under the regular programme from Sh14,000 per semester to Sh28,000.

Prof Kaimenyi has since declared that the government has not sanctioned any fees increment.

“Any such increase must be initiated by university councils, deliberated upon through a consultative process which should involve stakeholders and approved by the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology,” Prof Kaimenyi said in a press statement on Monday.

Prof Kaimenyi, in a Tuesday morning interview with Nation FM, claimed he had struck an agreement with the student leaders not to hold the demonstration and to instead meet him to discuss the government’s position.

“Yesterday (Monday) I held a meeting with National University Students Organisation, but Babu Owino (Chairman of the University of Nairobi students union) chose not to come. We agreed that there will be no demonstration; let the students bring their memorandum to me and we discuss,” Prof Kaimenyi said.