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UoN blacklisted by event organisers over Sh70m damage

Event organisers in Kenya have asked all their members to shun any functions planned by any of the campuses of the University of Nairobi.

In addition, the Events Mangers Association of Kenya (Emak) have also stopped any supply of their equipment and services to the University of Nairobi for any of their events including graduations.

These services include and not limited to Audio-visual services, tents, chairs and décor, they said.

This comes two days after rioting UoN students destroyed equipment worth Sh70 million belonging to Mo Sound event organisers.

The company had been contracted the US embassy to provide sound system and tents to a concert on voter education.

A law firm has also announced that it would not offer pupilage or job opportunities to any UoN law students as a result.

Sam Gichuru, the founder and CEO of Nailab, said he would stop dealing with UoN students, but added that the few who might be interested to work with him would have to undergo rigorous vetting.

Emak also say they are holding the UoN administration responsible for the actions of their students and their inability to contain the said students, and are looking at options available to them over the destruction last weekend.

“As you are aware, students of the University of Nairobi went on the rampage on Saturday night following what we learnt was as a result of their Vice-Chancellor instructing them that they are no longer allowed to cook within their halls of residence. Events services suppliers, some who are our members, had spent the entire Friday and Saturday setting up for the Ni Show Power concert that was a collaboration between the US Embassy in Kenya and the University of Nairobi scheduled to be held last Sunday,” said Kevin Ombija chairman of Emak interim board.

DISMANTLING EQUIPMENT

“By Saturday evening, the set up was completed and a test run including sound-check was done as is the standard procedure for this kind of events. The suppliers went home ready for the event in the morning. At about 11pm, the students started breaking into the cafeteria adjacent to the graduation court. Shortly after, close to 700 students descended on the set-up area and started dismantling equipment. Screens, stage and sound equipment was all destroyed. They broke chairs and tables and stole drinks and catering equipment. When they were done after about 30 minutes, they then lit fires and went away carrying their loot,” said Mr. Ombija.

Mo Sound managing director Kevin Mulei said they incurred a loss of over 70 million shillings through property that was either stolen or damaged.

“Although this unfortunate incident has taken place, it however does not ground our operations. We thank God that our equipment’s were insured,” said Mulei.

Meanwhile efforts from the said organizers to get the help from the Kenya police during the incident proved futile after the police informed them that they cannot enter the university grounds.

They remained around the University way roundabout. The suppliers were only able to access the grounds from 6am the next morning, way after the looting and destruction had taken place.