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Concerns Over Rising Student Crime, Deaths In Universities

Concerns Over Rising Student Crime, Deaths In Universities

As violent crime rises in cities and villages across the country, it is encroaching on what many thought to be safe havens — college campuses, which are being forced to tighten security protocols in response.

Vincent Omwamba, a third-year Co-operative University student, was with colleagues on July 21, 2022, when they were accosted by thugs. He was fatally stabbed.

Higher Education has learned that Omwamba was the victim of a phone theft plot.

Police believe the act was planned by a fellow student, who is among those detained. A toy gun was discovered at the suspects’ home in the Gataka slum.

Omwamba’s case is just one of many involving university students who have died.

Universities in Kenya, once hailed as educational citadels are transforming into killing fields.

Discovered dead in their rooms.
Two Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) students were found dead in their rooms just a month ago. 

They allegedly committed suicide after failing to make the graduation list, which the university denies.

The academic records of Lenny Jessy Masiga and Irene Monica Mwangi, who were studying Strategic Management and Business Computing, respectively, were found to be in order, according to the university.

Eddy Ptenda was hit by a motorcycle outside Kitale National Polytechnic on June 6. At Kitale County Hospital, he was pronounced dead. Ptenda has only been at the polytechnic for a month.

According to a senior officer at the Rongai police station, drug abuse among students is to blame for the increase in crime at Cooperative University and its environs.

University insecurity
Private security experts, police officers, and student leaders all agree on common issues that contribute to university insecurity.

Alcoholism, drug abuse, deteriorating moral standing, poverty, peer pressure, poor parenting, and misuse of the internet and the ever-changing cyberspace are among them.

Ken Gendo, Maseno University’s chief security officer, believes that rising cases of fatalities are being fueled by students themselves.

Students who end up on the wrong side of the law frequently have a history of delinquency. Prostitution and gang membership are examples of these habits.

According to Mr. Gendo, the number of students involved in cybercrime is also on the rise.

“Many students join university when they are young. Some begin cohabiting when they’ve barely known each other. The end result is fighting, pregnancies, and even deaths,” he said, adding that poor parenting is also to blame for the moral decadence.

lavish way of life
According to Isaiah Lithara, the security chief at Co-op University, the allure of a flashy lifestyle has led to students resorting to crime.

Poverty has compelled some people to rent slum housing, exposing them to assault, mugging, theft, rape, and other crimes.

Anger problems

Joel Juma, a fourth-year Industrial Chemistry student at JKUAT, was stabbed at 2 a.m. on April 18, 2022, while in the company of his girlfriend.

Three men attacked the two and demanded cash and phones.

Kenyatta University offers sessions on coping with mental health issues and disappointments through its wellness center.

strained resources
Brenda Chelang’at, Vice-Chairperson of the Kenyatta University Students Association, claims that high enrollment has stretched resources, forcing students to live off campus.

“We have engaged the police in areas around the university and they have increased patrols,” she said.

According to a recent publication by the KU wellness center, a lack of primary self-preservation skills, diminished self-worth, a lack of environmental mastery and poor social skills, vulnerability to drugs, gambling, and sex for money are some of the factors driving students to crime.

Some students who have witnessed family violence never develop healthy problem-solving skills.  Some people develop clinical depression, while others come from homes where they were not monitored, mentored, or supervised.

Mr David Oneya, a fourth-year student, claims that interacting with delinquent peers has led to many students abusing drugs and alcohol.

Ineffective student leaders
“Student leaders are too weak to address issues affecting learners. Students are dying but you can hardly witness a demo or hear condemnation,” he said.

The KU wellness center recommends that students avoid toxic friends and relationships and seek help from trusted adults such as parents, lecturers, and religious leaders.

They are also encouraged to report threats to their lives to appropriate authorities and to participate in activities that help them overcome their anger. Addicts of alcohol and drugs are encouraged to seek treatment.


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The center also encourages students to participate in wellness-promoting activities such as joining clubs.

“Do not engage in multiple relationships and do not stalk your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend on social media. Learn to live and let live. If a relationship is not working, learn to let go,” the KU wellness centre publication concludes.

Concerns Over Rising Student Crime, Deaths In Universities

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