Over 15,000 Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) students are a worried lot over the recent killings of their colleagues.
The students are living in fear after a series of disappearances and killings that have been witnessed and that involve their comrades.
Despite demonstrations, pleads and appeals to Mombasa security agents to investigate, arrest and charge the unknown kidnappers and killers, their efforts have bore no tangible results.
TUM student’s President Dennis Okanga appealed to Mombasa top security agencies to pursue the killers.
“We lost 6 students in 2019 and the situation resurfaced in early January where we lost an Engineering student who for four days could not be traced,” revealed Mr. Okanga.
Timothy Mwirigi’s body was found floating in the Indian Ocean near English Point Marina luxurious hotel at Mkomani in Mombasa last Wednesday.
“It is very clear that our colleague was killed elsewhere and dumped in at the Indian Ocean, since none can swim with his clothes and shoes and at night,” he disclosed.
[TUM students’ President Mr. Dennis Okanga. Photo/courtesy].
Another student was last week reported missing too and his where about remain a puzzle.
The bodies are normally found dumped in the Indian ocean with the most renowned ‘dump site’ being Junda beach in Kisauni Sub-County’.
The bodies are normally found with two or three long nails hammered at the back of the heads.
“There must be a serial killer who has mastered his technique and only targets TUM students,” added Mr. Okanga.
Despite all the protests police have not netted any suspect or revealed any tangible information to the students or the institution’s administration.
In 2019, the students protested and camped at the former Mombasa County police Commandant Johnston Ipara seeking answers over their security concerns but their efforts achieved almost nil results.
In November the same year, they protested to Makupa police station and later to Kisauni seeking clarifications from the current Mombasa County Police Boss Augustine Nthumbi who assured them of their security.
“We have received TUM students’ security concerns and we are promising them of serious actions against the criminals,” said Mr. Nthumbi while addressing the angry students at Makupa police station last year.
However, the promise is yet to materialise and the students pursuing various professions among them Mass Communication and Journalism, Engineering, Tourism, catering, Business administration among other disciplines are learning and living in fear.
“We are forced to fix our timetables not beyond 6 pm so that we rush home early for the many of us residing outside the oldest higher learning institution in the Coast region,” disclosed one of the students pursuing Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication in the faculty of Humanity and Social sciences Mr. Derrick Ouko.
Coast Region Universities and Colleges Association (COASTA) Secretary General Edwin Shamir appealed to TUM Vice Chancellor Professor Laila Abubakar to make serious interventions including meeting top security officers within Mombasa among them the County Police commandant Augustine Nthumbi to secure her students.
[Coast Region Universities and Colleges Association Secretary general Edwin Shamir. Photo/Ahmed Omar].
“TUM students cry is a comrade cry, this serious security threat must be conclusively addressed,” noted Mr. Shamir who is from the Cooperative University of Kenya (CUK).
Shamir is also calling on the Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i to swing into action and solve security threat targeting TUM students.
Meanwhile Human rights lobby Haki Africa has appealed to the County security department to investigate and amicably quell the problem.
Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid said the situation is worsening and must be satisfactorily addressed.
[Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid (In white Haki Africa T-shirt) calling for truce between TUM students and Police officers in recent students protests in Kisauni. Photo/Ahmed Omar]
“Most of the students have been found killed in Kisauni, can we have a tangible solution on the accommodation crisis so that the students are safe?” posed Mr. Khalid.
He said the organisation will meet the concerned parties specifically the security detail in Mombasa in a bid to ensure the reckless execution of TUM students is contained.
“Both the institution and the police have responsibility to ensure all learners feel safe whether within or outside the institution, thus why as human rights defenders we will intervene,” disclosed Mr. Khalid.