Students of University of Nairobi on Saturday night destroyed property of unknown value while protesting a new directive that prohibits cooking inside halls of residence.
The striking students reportedly torched the university mess and kitchen during the incident.
Last week, the university administration announced that it had banned cooking inside halls of residence and subsequently slashed food prices at the student mess by 25 per cent.
The reduced prices at the university mess made it arguably the cheapest eatery in town with a plate of plain beef stew going for only Sh34 down from from Sh45, while ugali and chapati each cost Sh8.
However, this move seems not to have struck the right chord with the students who claim that the catering system can’t serve all the students resulting in extension of dinning periods by several hours.
The striking students also destroyed equipment for a music concert that was meant to be held at the institution on Sunday.
The students are said to have vandalized and stolen sound equipment for the US Embassy-sponsored concert that had attracted top Kenyan artistes among them the high-riding boy band Sauti Sol.
The organizers of the show have subsequently cancelled the show dubbed Ni Show Power.
“@NiShowPower concert is postponed, but the spirit of positive move towards democracy & empowerment continue!” a tweet on the US embassy Twitter handle read.
Meanwhile, the university maintains that the directive prohibiting cooking in the halls of residence stands.
“No student will be allowed to cook in the halls of residents,” Deputy Vice Chancellor Student Affairs Prof Isaac Mbeche said.
Prof Mbeche added that investigations have commenced on the latest incident of students unrest at the institution..
According to the Prof Mbeche the university banned cooking in the halls after Kenya Power raised concerns about overloading of wires by students using electrical appliances in their hostels.
So far, 11 students have reportedly been nabbed with cooking equipment and expelled from the hostels.
However, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs Prof Henry Muturo said the institution will not be closed and examinations will go as scheduled.
The university only reopened on April 26 after a 3-week closure following student unrest occasioned by disputed Sonu elections.