Students at the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) have issued a 72 hours ultimatum to the government to end the ongoing strike by teaching and non teaching staff failure to which they will forcefully shut down the university.
Tension was high for the better part of the day on Monday when thousands of learning students poured onto the streets demanding the government through the ministry of education to pay striking university lecturers amid fears that the protests may turn chaotic.
The students accused the government of dragging feet on resolving the strike and asked education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to hasten talks with lecturers so as that teaching can resume.
They said the ongoing strike has affected learning and other services at the university.
TUM Students union president Dougas Kavesi confirmed that learning activities at TUM has remained paralyzed, with students opting to study by their own.
“We will close the institution in 72 hours if the government continues to remain quiet, we are really straining for our upkeep here. We want to tell the government to act with speed,” said Kaveti.
He said the lecturers and non teaching staff have deserted the school compound although it has remained open for students to access classes.
Kavesi who was accompanied by TUM students union organizing Secretary Cyrus Denilu said students were in support of the strike by the university lecturers and workers.
“There is nobody teaching us, its only the university Vice Chancellor and the watchmen who are within the campus compound,” said Kelvin Nyangweso head of the Jumuiya ya Wanafunzi wa Pwani Union.
Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) Tum chapter secretary Joseph Ngare said the government must address their plight before they resume duties first.
His Kenya Universities Staff Union counterpart John Ongwe said operations at the university will remain paralysed until the governemt agrees to their demand.
“We are jointly together in this strike, what we are saying is the government should adhere to our demands,” he said.
Tum public relations officer Phillip Mbaji however said that the university will not be shut down despite absence of the teaching and non teaching staff.
“The students are still accessing their classes but there is no teaching, our hopes are that the government will resolve the stalemate as soon a possible to allow learning process to continue,” said Mbaji.