University loses plea to suspend students
20 December 2013, 12:18
Nairobi - Two
university students have won a court battle against being suspended by their varsity’s disciplinary committee.
Wangunza and Kwame Ochola Otinda, third year Environmental Science Students at
Kenyatta University were suspended and asked to pay for a laptop belonging to
one of their lecturers.
Court judge George Odunga ruled that the decision to send the students for a one year
suspension was wrong as proper conclusive investigations into the alleged theft
were not carried out and that was an unfair treatment.
there is nothing essentially wrong with charging several people with one
offence and even meting out different sentences since in the commission of an
offence there are principal offenders and accessories either after the fact or
before the fact. However, it is my view that such a reason must pass the test
of reasonableness. In other words there ought to be a rational explanation if
the decision is not to be termed as bizarre,” Justice Odunga ruled.
quashing the decision by Kenyatta University’s disciplinary committee, judge
Odunga acknowledged that even though theft is a criminal offence that cannot be
doubted, it is an allegation that can be investigated and tried in court
despite the crime being committed within the varsity’s premises.
the result whereas to fault the finding that the accused students participated
in the alleged offence would require this court to inquire into the merits of
the decision of the Students Disciplinary Committee, it is my view and I so
find that the arbitrary imposition of a more severe sentence on Zachary and
Kwame other than the one imposed on fellow students was irrational and failed
to meet the test of reasonableness,” he said.
Kwame, Paul Ombogi Ombaso, Wanagre M. Kariuki, Ouma Janavier and Wangari Kamkia
Simon went to their learning institution on the fateful day and sat for a continuous assessment test and thereafter left separately.
The students disciplinary committee then summoned Zachary, Kwame and 12 other
students on 17th January 2013 demanding an explanation on the Fujitsu laptop
worth KES 194,000.
received a phone call on February 28 to collect his verdict letter on March 11
which required him to pay Sh 27,800 by April 30 and that “the money should not
be paid into the fee account” and further that he was suspended for one
academic year to resume studies in January 2014.
to him, the same letter had been addressed to four others who were only given
in the course of consultations with his other classmates it transpired that
Ouma and Simon were penalized to pay but were not suspended.
judge said the committee did not give any reasons as to how it arrived at its
decision to penalize and suspend the two nor was an explanation given as to the
different punishments meted out.
claimed was a manifestly flawed administrative decision.
was the one who appeared last before the panel and from the cross-examination
it seemed like it was the lecturer himself who was conducting the inquiry and
had inquired from him whether his laptop was installed and probably this is was
what incriminated him.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.