Cops pursued Meru varsity student and shot him dead, court told

Evans Njoroge was seeking to hide in a farmhouse in Tigania when he was gunned down

In Summary

• Njoroge was killed on February 27, 2018, following week-long protests by students at Meru University.

• He was running to seek shelter in a farmhouse in the village when the bullet brought him down.

A police car pursued Meru University students before their leader was eventually shot dead on February 27, 2018, a court heard on Wednesday.

The officers then drove out of the scene of the crime in Kabebe village, Tigania West toward Maua town, witness Beatrice Bodo told the High Court in Meru.

Student leader Evans Njoroge, alias Kidero, was shot dead during protests by the learners against increased fees. He was running to seek shelter in a farmhouse in the village when the bullet brought him down.

Bodo, who is an officer with the Independent Policing Oversight Authority, said the police officers drove to Maua town, some 40km away before going back to their base at Nchiru police station to avoid the wrath of students after the killing.

She said the police vehicle registered as GKB 198E was traced to the scene of crime between 12.57am and 1.36pm. That was around the time Njoroge was killed.

During a visit to the scene by Judge Patrick Otieno of the High Court in Meru, the court was shown where Njoroge was gunned down on February 27, 2018.

The chaos followed week-long protests by the students.

The scene visit was aimed at collecting more evidence on the circumstances surrounding the murder.

AP officer Leakey Maina pleaded not guilty to murdering Njoroge before then High Court Judge Francis Gikonyo. He was released on Sh200,000 bail with an alternative bond of Sh400,000, including a surety of a similar amount.

On February 2, 2018, Njoroge accused the university management of hiking fees and failing to adhere to guidelines by the Education ministry.

“We are here to continue with our push for justice. This is our fifth strike in one semester and we want to ask the ministry to look into the fee issue," he said at the time.

Fellow students cheered and shielded him from the police as he addressed them. The officers wanted to arrest Njoroge.

"While other universities pay Sh33,000 in an academic year, we are required to pay more than Sh50,000," Njoroge said.

He accused vice-chancellor Japheth Magambo of failing to honour a pledge to reduce the fees by Sh8,500 as was agreed in a meeting between the management and student leaders.

Magambo was later sacked.