By Ann Salaton
The Maasai Mara University students have threatened to join their colleagues from other institutions of higher learning in a countrywide demonstration if the ongoing UASU strike is not resolved this week.
Led by their Chairman, Robert Too, the students said the strike was affecting the university programme meaning their stay at the institution would be extended.
Too lamented that the students remained behind at the university after lecturers went on strike two weeks ago and have continued to incur expenses in their daily upkeep despite doing nothing meaningful.
“Every day, the students use over Sh. 200 in buying meals besides paying house rent at Sh.4, 000 per month. We cannot stand this anymore,” Too lamented.
The students poured their frustrations on Monday at the university premises during a press briefing.
They said traveling back to their various homes was not a solution either as many of them came from other counties hence could not afford bus fare back.
“We cannot travel back home as nobody knows when the strike will be called off. We are tired of just idling around and no one seems bothered,” they said.
Too called upon the Government and UASU officials to engage in meaningful dialogue with a view to ending the stalemate.
The students’ Vice Chairman, Jacobs Fikirini faulted the Government for ignoring them, saying it was only at the universities where professionals were made.
“At the university, we get professionals like doctors, teachers, engineers and others, but we are wondering why the government has been dumb on this issue,” he wondered.
He said Maasai Mara university students had already wasted a lot of time last year, when their programme was interrupted for two months after they went on strike.
“Some of us were forced to extend our stay at the university longer than expected. This issue must be resolved immediately,” said Fikirini.
Fridah Wawira, a third year student, said cases of insecurity have been on the increase since lecturers went on strike, as the students were just idling around.
“Many of us have had our personal property like clothes, phones and money stolen,” she said.
The ongoing strike has affected all the 33 public universities countrywide with the lecturers union demanding that the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) be signed and implemented.
The union also says their basic salary and house allowance has not been reviewed since the year 2010.
UASU is comprised of professors, associate professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, assistant lecturers, tutorial fellows and graduate assistants.