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Varsity Students Petition Parliament To End Strike

The ongoing strike by university staff is causing agony among the student fraternity.

The students are now petitioning parliament to help solve the impasse between the striking dons and the government.

The Petition was signed by Moi University Nairobi campus chairman Edwin Kegoli, academia director Morgan Ochieng, assistant secretary general Perez Anzugira, finance director Gregory Anam and secretary general Dalman Muhamud.

“We humbly request police protection during the peaceful demonstration,” the five student leaders said in a statement.

The leaders said they were unhappy about President Uhuru Kenyatta’s silence on the matter. They threatened to go to court should legislators fail to find a solution.

“We have exams next month yet no learning has been going on for over a month now. Next Tuesday we will mobilise university students to hold demos along Harambee Avenue to show our displeasure if this matter is not resolved,” said Kegoli.

Harrison Talo, Multimedia University secretary general, said: “We are paying rent and bus fare yet no learning is taking place. The only course going on is intercourse.”

Victor Njeru, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga university secretary general, said: “We cannot go on like this. Doctors are also on strike. This is now a striking nation.”

Lecturers want the government to honour their 2013-17 Collective Bargaining Agreement. They have said they will not back down unless their demands for higher pay and better working conditions are met.

But the student leaders drawn from public and private universities noted that the strike has threatened the continuity of proper learning in institutions.

“It threatens the consistency and length of the academic calendar, academic extension and research activities,” they said.

Their petition asks the National Assembly to stop the strike as it exposes learners across the country to “non-constructive” activities.

“The assembly should realise that the continuity of the strike limits students from realising their academic advancements and engagements,” it read.

The government offered the lecturers Sh10 billion to cater for basic salaries and allowances of staff at public universities, but they turned down the amount terming it too small.

They said they will only call off their strike if the state confirms that the Sh4.8 billion they were also offered was in addition to the initial Sh10 billion.

COURTESY OF THE STAR

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