Police in Kitale on Monday arrested 24 students of Kitale National Polytechnic after they went on strike protesting against alleged increased examination fees and the principal’s high handedness
Speaking to the press in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County Police Commander (CPC), Ayub Ali said the students were arrested following chaos they caused after they moved out of the institution’s compound.
“These students were seen blocking the Kitale-Kipsongo road and throwing stones at anyone passing by. That’s when our officers managed to apprehend them though we are still screening them to ascertain if all of them are students,” he told the press
According to the students interviewed, they took to the streets protesting against the administration’s decision to increase the Kenya National Examination Council KNEC refer fee from Sh.2,650 to Sh.3000 besides not embracing dialogue.
The students engaged police in running battles most part of the morning after they defied orders by principal not to move out of the college compound.
They accused the principal of refusing to listen and address their grievances, opting to intimidate them instead.
“The principal is charging us Sh. 3,000 instead of sh. 2,650 recommended by KNEC for refer fees. We have in several occasions asked the principal to hold a meeting with us but he has arrogantly refused and instead resorted to use police to intimidate us,” one student who sought anonymity told KNA.
Efforts by Kitale OCS, Ochieng Onditi to persuade the students to go back to the college failed prompting the officers to forcefully disperse them.
The School’s Principal, Fanuel Onyango denied increasing fee clarifying that the additional charges were for administrative purposes.
He blamed the strike on a few students who had mismanaged fees given to them by parents and had to incite colleagues as a cover up.
By Pauline Ikanda