Kenya calls in Scotland Yard

March 7, 1997

Students and lecturers at the University of Nairobi have called on the British government to bring in Scotland Yard detectives to investigate the death of a student leader which has sparked off clashes between students and police.

They said they have no faith in the Kenyan police or the university senate sub-committee appointed by vice chancellor Francis Gichaga to investigate the death of Solomon Muruli, a student leader at Nairobi's college of education and external studies. The government has sent bomb experts to investigate the 3am blast and fire in which Mr Muruli died.

Nairobi and Egerton universities have been closed indefinitely following demonstrations and clashes between police and students. The students took to the streets the day after the fire and accused the police of killing Mr Muruli.

The death was condemned by the European Union's office in Nairobi, opposition parties and other pressure groups in Kenya. The Netherlands embassy said it was concerned about the recent violence against Kenya university students by police.

Mr Muruli was the fourth student to die violently over a short period. In December last year the police shot dead a student at Egerton University and two others from Kenyatta University in demonstrations.

Last year Mr Muruli was abducted and tortured for several days by unknown persons before he was left for dead in a church compound. On New Year's Eve, police arrested him in Mombasa and interrogated him on his contacts with the unregistered Safina party led by conservationist Richard Leakey.

He is said to have recognised one of his abductors as a senior officer at a local police station. Mr Muruli started getting threatening letters and the university provided him with two security officers. Students said the blast occurred just a few days after the withdrawal of the guards.

* Kenya brain drain worsens, page 8

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