Concerns have been raised by a section of Kenyans on the social media over the past few days after it emerged that a number of students from Moi University Main Campus in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, are starving.
In a memo circulating online dated , Moi University Dean of Students Dr. John Ayieko told the student community that his office had received reports that several comrades were on the brink of starvation going without meals for days due to a financial crisis caused by Covid-19 pandemic.
To support the affected students, the dean asked the student community to submit details of colleagues who are unable to afford meals to his office through respective student leaders for immediate assistance.
Below is the memo from the Dean of students.
In 2019, the institution effected the ban on cooking in the school halls of residence. Since the ban was enforced, all students residing in the institution’s hostels are required to buy food from the school’s three eateries located in Ngeria, Soweto and Students’ Centre. They also have the option of buying food from restaurants outside the campus. However, according to some of the students, the food is expensive and the financial support from their parents is not enough considering the fact that there has been a delay of Higher Education Loans (HELB), which gives them a great boost.
Below is a memo from Moi University Students Organization(MUSO) dated 8th march 2021 seeking permit for peaceful demonstrations over the delay in HELB loans disbursement.
The student leaders in solidarity with comrades held peaceful demonstrations in Eldoret town with full security provided by the police yesterday.
The law that prohibits cooking in hostels had been in existence but it was never affected making the exercise a norm.
Before the ban, the students used to buy readily available cheap food from the
local market and prepare it in their hostels using coils, which, according to the
management, posed danger in the halls of residence as they used naked live wires to heat the kitchen appliances .
Many would often carry foodstuff from their homes when reporting to school to cut costs.
The students faulted their leaders for failing to address their grievances even as the economic crisis occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic persists.
In October 2019, the administration closed the institution after student riots linked to the ban against cooking in hostels.
Due to the effects of Covid-19 pandemic to the country’s economy, every citizen is going through a financial crisis in different ways and the case with Moi University students is an example of the situation of many students in different campuses with different levels of severity.
The students are also asking for a reduction in transport charges to and from Eldoret town, which they say has unfairly been hiked from sh. 120 to the current Sh. 200. Meanwhile there will be a mega meeting today Thursday 11th that will be involving MU Sacco, the university staff, Dean of students, student leaders and OCPD to agree on varsity fare to and from Eldoret town to be reduced to at least sh. 120
Below are some of the memes and a Swahili poem by MCA Mbinde that have been circulating among comrades communicating the hidden message of facing a tough financial constrain.