Pwani University students will not pay the Ksh 4500 damages cost imposed on every student after the Monday 14th unrest that saw the University closed.
Pwani University students Association President Fikirini Jacobs said the figure is exaggerated and pointed that the damage assessment should have been done by an independent board.
Fikirini said the Vice Chancellor Professor Mohammed Rajab should be the one to pay for the damages as he is the one who caused the students to go on rampage.
“The administration alone cannot decide how much a student will be fined. What did the administration expect the students to do after locking the gates and provoking them to riot? No property could have been destroyed if they could be left to leave,” he said.
The President also questioned the validity of the senate sitting that arrived at the figure.
“Senate is not complete without student leaders. This MEMO is fake. However, from experience the administration is testing the waters on the fine issue (gathering intelligence). They want to know if it will be messy when they suggest a figure of their choice, remember their target is to pay the KRA debt. RESIST!! So far we have never been called to any senate. Again, resumption MEMO is not complete without addressing the issues we raised. Period!!! The only fine comrades will pay is 20bob.
According to the memo the University is to re-open on 28th this month.
Pwani is among 11 universities that had their accounts frozen by the KRA over shs9.7 billion tax arrears.
An insider disclosed that most of the operations in the institution are crippled as they struggle to remit their arrears.
Among the grievances the students raised include lack of seats in lecture halls.
“We have 7000 students with only 2000 seats to share. Before we went for the long recess, the vice chancellor assured us 2000 seats had been purchased waiting to be delivered only for the administration to bring in 40 seats from the Pwani University Mombasa campus. During exam times students are forced to walk for more than an hour trying to find an empty chair or a student who has finished his exam before time so that he can go in and take a seat before they go and do the exams,” he said
They also wanted the university to provide public address in classes with many students since the lecturers were not audible enough to reach them.
“There are classes with more than 500 students and a lecturer cannot be loud enough when teaching for all these students to hear what he is talking about,” he said
They are also complaining of medicine stock out in the University’s clinic.
The students wants the VC to be fired before they resume classes.
“The vice chancellor must go before we engage in anything. Students did not call for any protest but he led the administration to incite the students by failing to address their grievances. Because he knew what he was up to he made prior security arrangement with police officers to come and take over the University,” said Jacobs.
According to Jacobs he tried to stop the angry and disgusted students from protesting by having the matter solved diplomatically by the administration but all was in vain.
Efforts to get the vice chancellor on his phone was fruitless. He did not pick the calls neither responded to text messages. Reporters were also denied access to the University
Last week, Fikirini and five other students officials were clobbered by police when they were addressing journalists outside the University.