On brutality against civilians. Statements from Affected Students. Following the incident, at the University of Nairobi on Thursday 29th, 2017 here are first-hand statements from the affected students. The names will remain anonymous to protect the students’ identities and privacy.
As the mediator and also a part-time lecturer Amakove Wala, who was present during the event, has verified that these statements are directly from the affected students:
“I’m a 3rd student QS student, I witnessed the whole scenario in ADD. The GSU were beating us ruthlessly irrespective of gender or age. Actually, me and some other two ladies were almost raped in the Room 520. These people were asking us vulgar questions like ‘umevaa suruari ? Na unaweza itoa?’ And touching us too. I personally witnessed a lady who had fainted beaten ruthlessly even in her unconscious state. This must be brought to the light. I’ve also learnt that their interest is not security at all it’s stealing and destroying. -3rd year QS Student- University of Nairobi
“Hi, I’d like to say something about how we were treated yesterday at ADD(University of Nairobi). I am a first-year student (Architecture). First of all, we witnessed a good number of those GSU officers getting intoxicated on weed behind ADD building just before they allowed us to get out. Aside from the beatings as we were leaving I was personally forced to grope my classmate by an officer and when I refused, he beat me up. I had swollen legs all night and have been limping the whole day, but a doctor told me there’s no major damage and it has since gone down.
I hope no other female students were sexually harassed in this manner although I personally did not do this, someone else might have been forced to or even the officers themselves might have done it. They also stole a lot of our money and small electronics other than phones, like power banks and hard disks, and would not allow us to collect our effects like bags in the event they were dropped. Please help us seek justice since I don’t see their reason for storming the building just because it happens to be near the hostels.”
– 1st-year Architecture Student – University of Nairobi
Hello, I am a third-year Real estate student. I was badly injured and kicked to the ground of the ADD(UON) upper parking. I escaped a rape case narrowly were it not for the library security who was coming to the washroom that they stopped pushing me into the toilet. I can easily identify the two officers if they were brought, I even marked their faces. They took my 1000 shillings I had in my bag, lucky enough they didn’t check my jacket pocket where I had my phone. I was rescued by a stranger who carried me to town. As I ran. I still have pains in my abdomen where they beat me with the Rungu (Baton)
– The third-year real estate student
“Hello…I am a student at Nairobi University. I do architecture, yesterday while we were in class tear gas was being thrown at us. Thereafter we were lined up on the ground floor then we were beaten for almost an hour. We managed to run but we were again caught, then they beat us up and left us there I remember very well I was with my friend, whom we were with they took all my money phone everything today I had to go to hospital to get treated as I had fractures on both my leg and arm”
– Architecture Student – University of Nairobi
I was told you wanted names of people who were beaten and assaulted yesterday. I’m a third-year architecture student. Yesterday when the GSU came into our studios they told us to make a single file and raise our hands up and they were hitting us with their rungus (baton). They were several of them when I was passing and was hit several times. Specifically on my back and my head but I blocked my head with my hands. After leaving the studio on the stairs some more were awaiting us and that’s where I was slapped on the left side of my face and one of the officers was pulling girls aside and squeezing their butts when they passed. I saw two girls in front of me being squeezed and sadly I was the third. As we continued going down others were kicking you.
After we reached the building’s door they started hitting us telling us ‘Rukeni kama chura’ while they continued hitting us. After jumping like that through the parking lot they told us to get up and run, but when we just got up and were running towards the state house road gate others were waiting for us there and told us to sleep on the road with our backs lying on the ground. I was on the first line when they told us to sleep and one of the officers held his rungu(baton) in an upright position, lifting it up and pushing it on our thighs telling us ‘munaona nyinyi pekee yenu munajuwa kusoma,sisi hatujui kusoma ni wajinga,leo tutawaonyesha’.
When he pushed his rungu on my thighs I started crying and shaking and one of the officers looked at me. I thought he was going to beat me and I told him please help me. He told me to get up and told all the other students to leave in a single line. I was left behind with almost 6 officers. He asked me my name and where I live and where my parents live. He told me not to cry. And then he took my number and flashed me.
Those other officers started telling him ‘mbona unambembeleza,mlete hapa tumwonyeshe’ he then guided me outside the gate. There was a GSU lorry parked outside and there were officers inside the lorry. They started telling the officer who was guiding me outside,’umetuletea zawadi ya muislamu,mlete hapa tumwonyeshe wanaume ni nani’ and the officer who helped me told me to run which I did.
My brother and father were waiting for me at YWCA and I went there and headed home with them. I’m a grateful I had no permanent physical harm but what happened yesterday was terrorism. We were innocent students in class learning and we had locked our studio doors and blocked them with plan chests. They told us to open the doors and they wouldn’t beat us if we did, they just wanted to escort us out which was a lie.What has happened has happened but I hope this would never happen again to any student and that our experience could help others in future from experiencing anything like this.”
– 3rd-year Architecture Student – University of Nairobi
“Hi there. I am also a victim of yesterday’s incident. I am a first-year architecture student at ADD and am currently nursing at home after being beaten on the back, lower limbs and upper arm with no reason whatsoever. Am ready to join you in the petition and I hope we get the justice on behalf of all those affected. There’s a video of where we were beaten from.”
– 1st-year Architecture Student – University of Nairobi
“I was brutally beaten in my back and my arm almost broken at ADD,(University of Nairobi), I still have with me my hospital receipts and X-Ray. I am now under medication and recuperating at home. To make it worse, they even demanded money from me which I surrendered kshs 200 to them. I hope justice will have its way.”
– University of Nairobi Student
“Hello, My friend talked to you and told me to tell you what happened. Well apart from the normal beating everyone got. As I was exiting the school I was going to use the Mamlaka road exit, then one GSU told me to use the statehouse road exit. So I listened. This only brought me closer to them. That’s when one of them grabbed me and told me “wewe Ndo ilikuwa unapiga picha” I don’t know why they selected me to cause, I wasn’t taking pictures.
Maybe it’s because of how I look and they saw I was an easy target. Anyway, him saying that I was the one taking photos led to more GSU coming to surround me one saying “ehh wewe ndio ilikuwa unapiga picha” then slapped me while another tackled me to the ground.
I fell down at the beginning of the path that leads to the garden restaurant. My site analysis fell down under the hedge. The 5 of them then started beating me with rungus(batons) and kicks telling me, “Toa camera” I was pleading with them telling them I don’t own one .
They then told me to remove my phone I did that and told them that it had died and they stared hitting it with their rungus . They then picked my bag and emptied all the contents on the ground, including my new laptop which they also hit with their rungu. I pleaded with them saying that I hadn’t taken any pictures.
They then tell me to stop whining like a girl and slapped me. After a few more beatings they told me to go. So I ran and left most of my stuff on the floor. They called me back and told me to take everything. As I was picking my laptop and phone and work, they kept on hitting me with the rungu (baton). All this time I couldn’t see properly Coz my glasses had fallen off and being stepped on by one officer. They then led us out of the compound in a straight line while mocking us.
I don’t know why I remember this all so clearly but I do and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since yesterday. They picked on me twice and they hit all of us as even as we exited the studio. They were three of them, Rungu, slap, rungu, that was the sequence. To be honest, after that I lost count of how many times I was beaten, and after they finished beating me, one of them told me “Toa kitu kidogo cha mkubwa”, Like they expected me to bribe them after all that.
– 3rd-year Architecture Student – University of Nairobi
“My suitcase broken into and things made away with
My left hand is not functioning now well beaten by a rungu, My right eye slapped. I had to look for some medicine to enable me to see properly.”
– 1st year Student- University of Nairobi
“Hello, I would like to report that some of my classmates were affected yesterday, September 28th, 2017 by the GSU. We were forced to walk in a single file outside ADD building, told to take out their books and read while seated on the ground while the GSU hurled insults at them, kicked several times with the GSU batons and frog matched. Most of these students suffered knee bruises and other unsaid injuries. To top it all they were forced to pay the GSU to set them free. Kindly look into this and the school should consider compensating these victims. We hope drastic measures will be taken and that it’s not all for PR.
– Fourth-year Construction Management student- University of Nairobi.
“ Hi, I just wanted to lay my views and personal experience on what happened yesterday. First, I feel like our security as students is highly compromised at the expense of our studies and SCHOOL FEES. We were not even aware of these protests! last time we could hear of rumors and take caution but yesterday we were in class when we were attacked. Second, I also fell victim to the teargas inhalation and felt a bit faint, had to lie down for a few moments for my heart to resume normal heartbeat rate because of the trauma that I went through, hearing screams as students and staff were mercilessly beaten downstairs, also a student who was asthmatic struggling to breathe. We were hiding in level 6 of the University building and I thank GOD that that door is lockable, otherwise it is the LORD who knows what could have happened if those officers managed to get through. While escaping I was really shocked to just walk a few paces off ADD only to find the GOONS themselves, (The ones the GSU were supposed to be fighting)…having blocked Mamlaka road and lit up the “riot fire with twigs…in front of hall 13 and Box (Hostels)”. The GSU officers were BUSY enjoying terrorizing students in class while the CULPRITS are outside BOX on Mamlaka road. OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL? And also my other plea….those people on SOCIAL MEDIA…trying to say that we deserve this punishment…stop running to conclusions that it is us who caused the mess…kuna methali isemayo “Fahali waili wakipigana…Nyasi ndio huumia…” I also used to advice my friends if they ever hear of a rumor of protests to keep away from school…until I fell victim to this horror (unaware)…today I choose to speak out. – A very concerned University of Nairobi Student
Jane Gumo, Lecturer; All Architecture students who have written accounts here are my students. I had a first-year studio class on Thursday afternoon in ADD. I had not wanted to teach the class but when I called admin at about 230pm I was told it was safe. I got to the studio at about 3 pm. Taught for about an hour and started hearing a commotion outside. I abruptly ended my class and left. When I got to the lobby the UoN security refused to let students out of the building. They might have felt it was safer to keep them in. I hang around the lobby for about 15 mins and made a personal decision to leave when I felt it was safe enough to get to my car in the parking lot. As soon as I got into my car, I just drove out of the compound passing a number of GSU on my way out.
I was SHOCKED to learn that only 20 minutes later all hell broke loose.
Ogake Mochache, Lecturer; Some of my students were harassed, luckily managed to hide and were not hurt. My boss was stranded helplessly in the office too when students and staff were being brutalized outside. Terribly ashamed to be part of a system that doesn’t protect the innocent. Meanwhile let’s just pretend none of this happened. It’s business as usual. To say that I am OUTRAGED is an understatement!!!!
Some of the videos captured.