On Thursday, March 14, former University of Nairobi student leader Samuel Ragira was fatally attacked, sparking protests near the university. In response, protesters blocked State House Road and threw stones at passing vehicles. Some reports allege police involvement in the killing, while others report that members from an armed criminal gang were involved. The Kilimani Police chief dismissed the claim that the student leader was shot by police but reported that the matter is under investigation. Another student was reportedly stabbed and taken to Kenyatta National Hospital. Youth leaders from Kisii County (Nyanza province) promised additional protests starting Saturday, March 15, should the government fail to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice.
Continued protests and heightened tensions are to be expected around the university over the coming days, which may devolve into violence. Localized traffic disruptions are to be expected around demonstration sites.
Competition for control of shops, specifically Club 36, near the university is believed to be the cause of the confrontation. Club 36 is a popular food market due to cheaper meals compared to those within university premises. Students seek ownership of the market as 95 percent reportedly do their shopping there.
Hours before Ragira was shot and killed, he posted on social media that Mungiki, a feared criminal gang, was harassing vendors at Club 36, demanding money from them at the food joint. Reports suggest that gang members from Mungiki may have been the perpetrators of the shooting.
Individuals in Nairobi are advised to avoid the vicinity of the university - including University Way, Uhuru highway, the Chiromo district, and Club 36 - where possible and avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution. Monitor developments to the security situation and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer