Jkuat’s security woes deepened on Wednesday night, when two armed thugs attacked a student as he walked to a hostel with two of his friends.
Kiambu County Commander Ali Nuno said the gang that attacked Oliver Simiyu and his friends was armed with knives.
The attack took place near Seagull Hotel, Philo 1 Street, shortly after 9pm, as Mr Simiyu and a friend escorted the other to the hostels.
Mr Simiyu’s friends escaped unhurt after surrendering valuables including two mobile phones.
It was said the assailants cut the victim’s lips before stealing his phone. Witnesses said he bled heavily and was rushed to Jkuat Hospital.
On Thursday, Juja divisional police commander (OCPD) Dorothy Migarusha said the victims reported the attack at Juja Police Station.
She confirmed the number of assailants and the weapons used, the victim’s name and the scene of the attack.
Earlier, Jkuat management said the report was old and that they were not aware of a fresh incident.
Ms Migarusha said that according to the report, the students were asked to surrender their valuables but Mr Simiyu was hesitant so he was assaulted before all the victims’ phones were stolen.
“The student was treated and discharged. He is stable,” she said.
Police said the criminals took advantage of a power blackout to commit the offence. They said they were following crucial leads for the arrest of the suspects.
Students of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology have in the past held demonstrations over their security, following several attacks targeting them.
A protest at the university in February came after First-Year learner Tabitha Muthoni was stabbed to death by armed robbers.
Ms Muthoni is said to have been walking back to the hostels with her colleagues when they were accosted.
For many residents of Juja town in Kiambu County, a threat to Jkuat students is a threat to their businesses.
The vibrancy of the small dusty town has been mostly maintained by the 30,000 students, most of whom live off campus as the university’s hostels can host only 2,700 of them.
One of the questions now is whether Jkuat can enhance security and increase the capacity for hosting students within the campus.
Following the incidents, police have been on the spot, more so following an attack by four of them on student Allan Omondi, who took part in demonstrations at the university on Monday.
The protests turned ugly as officers from Juja and Makongeni Police stations descended on the learners, who, ironically, were protesting over rising insecurity around the main campus, with blows, kicks and clubs.
Three of the officers were identified as Corporal George Mwathania and Police Constables Jonathan Kibet and Boniface Muthama.
Police assessed several video clips of the incident to identify the fourth officer amid a probe by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa).
After the brutality caught the attention of agencies including the National Police Service Commission, Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said the officers were all interdicted.
Kiambu County Police Commander Ali Nuno told the Nation on phone that they had identified the loopholes criminals are exploiting in ambushes around Jkuat. He urged for calm as police take action.
Dr Hindzano Ngonyo, Jkuat’s Chief Corporate Communications Officer, did not respond to calls for comment on the matter.