“It’s not safe here anymore”
After seeing the video of this inhuman act, students couldn’t just sit back and do nothing, so student leaders led a protest of thousands. It was peaceful, not a riot, but some other students who were highly annoyed at the situation went and burnt down houses in Aluu town. This morning [Wednesday] I called a friend that lives in Aluu - as do quite a few students, since it is adjacent to the university - and she told me she was very scared because the boys had destroyed a lot of property. Aluu is now a ghost town, and everyone is living in fear of reprisals.This morning [Wednesday], as early as 5 a.m., students were vacating their residences; I myself am all packed up and ready to leave town. I heard three gunshots ring out around 7 a.m. It’s not safe here anymore.
“Whatever may have happened, there is no excuse for people deciding to take the law into their own hands and killing young men in their prime”
When I got the call from a friend telling me about the killings, I could not believe it. But then I saw the horrific photos that were being sent around. I have not yet been able to bring myself to watch the video. My two friends were talented, loving, and respectful people. I heard all the rumours about them being criminals, but I don’t believe them. And whatever may have happened, there is no excuse for people deciding to take the law into their own hands and killing young men who were in their prime, who were going to do great things. If there was a problem, these people should have turned to the police.After they were killed, the university said it was not responsible for what happened to students off campus – and didn’t say much more. So students, fed up, decided to protest on Tuesday. I joined them early in the morning; there must have been at least 5,000 in all. I didn’t see any violence while I was there. We waited for 10 hours for the vice-chancellor to come speak to us. The vice-chancellor is the one responsible for the decision to make all students, after their second year, seek lodgings off-campus [because of a shortage of on-campus housing]. So the students, in addition to demanding that the university make sure justice would be served, also demanded that all students immediately be given housing on-campus, where the university would be responsible for their safety. [During a news conference Tuesday, the vice-chancellor condemned the killings, and asked the government to help clear hurdles for the university to acquire more land.] The student protesters also called for compensation for the victims’ families. I hope the university will listen.