Students hold vigil in memory of 147 students that were killed by Alshabab terrorists
KAMPALA – It was a somber mood last night as over 200 Makerere University students converged at University’s main building to mourn and remember the lives of over 147 Garissa University students that were killed by Alshabab terrorists. The students lit candles while some carried placards that denounced the attacks.
The chairperson Makerere University Kenya Students Association (MUKESA) Christopher Mwangi, condemned the killings.
“An attack on Kenyan students is an attack on the entire globe,” said Mwangi “We strongly condemn the attacks.”
He also called upon Makerere students to be vigilant and report any suspects to the police. “I beg the students to be vigilant, alert the police officers in case of any suspicion.”
The Prime Minister Makerere University Guild council, Derrick Odur who was one of the mourners also criticised the Garissa attacks. “An attack on Garissa is also an attack on us,” said Odur. The Garissa attacks happened to fellow students and it can happen to us in Uganda too, we highly condemn the attacks and students should be vigilant,” he said. .
It was a quiet event and all students shared the same feelings about the attacks. Jackson Kariuki Namu, a Kenyan Mass Communication student said he saw no reason why Alshabab attacked innocent students. “Attending this mass, I just feel moved. I don’t see any reason why someone should take innocent lives.”
Mugizi Jason, a student pursuing is bachelors in Records and Archives Management also blamed the attackers saying that what Alshabab did was against Islamic values. “It’s a cowardly act that must be denounced in all manners possible.” “
Makerere University 40,000 students but only 200 students attended the vigil. Christopher Mwangi, the chairperson MUKESA attributed the low student turn up to students being busy and because it was time for tests.
“The students thought the vigil would be held in the Freedom Square but that was cancelled, and they are having lectures,” said Mwangi. Mugizi Joram says the students are to blame since they are so money minded. “If the organising committee had promised money, this place would be full of students,” he said. He also cited negaive attitude toward gatherings as a reason for the low turn up. “Students have a bad attitude towards gatherings, they think they will be tear gassed.”
Makerere University students will hold a peaceful march on Friday to the Kenyan Embassy in Nakasero in solidarity to remember and the 147 lives that were lost in the Garissa attacks.
On 2 April, gunmen stormed Garissa University College in Garissa, a town in the North Eastern pronvinnce of Kenya. 700 students were held hostage by the Alshabab terrorists. All the non Muslim hostages were killed by the gunmen. Making it the deadliest attack in Kenya since the 1998 United States embassy bombings. The Garissa attacks are the second deadliest overall with more casualities that the 2002 Mombasa attacks, the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack, the Nairobi bus bombings, the 2014 Gikomba bombings, the 2014 Mpekotoni attacks and the Lamu attacks. The Kenyan government launched a massive manhunt with a US$215,000 20,000,000Kshs) bounty for Mohamed Mohamud also known as Dulyadin, the man believed to have orchestrated the Garissa attacks.