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Laikipia University sends students home as lecturers strike continues

The two-week strike has paralysed learning in public universities across the country. PHOTO | FILE
The two-week strike has paralysed learning in public universities across the country. PHOTO | FILE 

Laikipia University has indefinitely closed all its campuses as a result of the ongoing labour dispute involving its academic staff.

Academic affairs registrar Raphael Kiugu ordered students to vacate the premises. “The university Senate in its sitting has decided to close the institution’s main campus in Nyahururu town and its satellite campuses indefinitely as a result of the ongoing labour dispute involving academic staff,” Dr Kiugu said in his communication to students.

“All the students are, therefore, instructed to vacate the university premises until further notice,” he added, asking them to remove personal belongings from the hostels.

Security and cost of keeping the learners in school were cited as reasons for taking the action. “The only solution was closure due to security reasons.

This will also help in preventing waste of resources as no learning is going on,” he said when contacted for comment. The decision comes as Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) officials and the government maintain their hard-line positions regarding striking lecturers’ grievances.

The two-week strike has paralysed learning in public universities across the country. Uasu officials have accused the government of not giving them a counter-offer on their 2013-2017 collective bargaining agreement.

Uasu University of Nairobi chapter secretary George Omondi on Wednesday said the government’s failure to issue a counter-offer shows it is not keen on ending the strike.

“We had waited for them to send a formal invitation but, we have not received any,” said Mr Omondi.

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