How Meru University student leader was murdered in cold blood
Details have emerged on how a Meru University student leader was shot dead in cold blood.
Evans Njoroge, the secretary-general of Meru University of Science and Technology Student Association, was gunned at close range on Tuesday as he attempted to flee from police.
Residents of Nchiru in the neighbourhood of university recounted how a police officer pursued Njoroge, spotted him hiding under a tree and shot him as ran away.
The macabre killing played out in a sweet potato farm as the owner, his wife and daughter watched.
Speaking to the Nation, the woman (name withheld for security and personal reasons) and her daughter said two officers from Nchiru Police Station entered their home in a vehicle as they pursued the rioting students before training their guns on Njoroge.
“The students came running and some entered through our main gate before disappearing into the farm,” the woman said.
“The police officer who was driving the vehicle came out and demanded to know where the students were. It is then that they spotted one of them (Njoroge) hiding under a tree. He shot at him as he was trying to run away.”
She said the incident happened at noon after students had engaged police in running battles for the better part of the morning.
The students have been demanding reduction of school fees by Sh8,500 as well as improvement of the university’s infrastructure.
After the shooting, the witness said, the police officer who is well-known to the locals returned to the vehicle and removed his jungle jacket before driving off.
The body of the slain student leader lay in the potato farm until 5pm when a contingent of police overpowered protesting students and locals and carried it away.
It was removed to Miathene Sub County Hospital mortuary.
Another resident (name withheld) said he could positively identify the police officer who pulled the trigger if they were paraded before him.
“This is a very sad day. As a community, we will support the cause of the students to ensure change in the management of the university,” he said.
“My farm has been destroyed and livestock feed burnt as police engaged the students.”
Students, who also requested anonymity fearing reprisals, said the police officers seemed to be targeting Njoroge, their union’s secretary-general, because he has been vocal on their grievances (VIDEO).
“As other rioters were battling police in the main road, the two police officers pursued a group in which Njoroge was. He (the officer) changed his clothes after committing the heinous act,” the student said.
Following the killing, the Meru-Maua road remained a no-go zone for motorists as protesting students lit bonfires and piled rocks over a one-kilometer stretch at Nchiru market.
By 6pm, the road was still barricaded as police left with the body.
Tigania West police chief Adamson Furaha did not comment on the incident as he said he was leading the operation to quell demonstrations.
Meru University Vice Chancellor Japheth Magambo said he was not aware of the killing.
Various leaders have condemned the killing of the student leader and called for the arrest and prosecution of the police officer.
South Imenti MP Kathuri Murungi said Prof Magambo should step aside to pave way for investigations into the unrest.
Following the incident, the university, in a notice posted in its website, postponed its re-opening from February 28 to March 6.
In the communication, the Prof Magambo said the university will remain closed indefinitely.