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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Love gone bad in Kampala

KAMPALA - A Kenyan student at Kampala International University (KIU) is held at Kabalagala Police station for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend to death. Jane Nyiha, a second-year student of bachelor of public administration, is accused of stabbing David Musunga Ivita in the throat, causing him to bleed to death.

She was yesterday picked from her room in Kansanga, a Kampala suburb, where she allegedly committed the crime at around 11:00am. The Police also recovered a knife which she is suspected to have used.

Musunga, also from Kenya, was a third-year student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mass communication. He was due to sit his final exams in April and graduate in September. Almost 80% of KIU students are Kenyans.

Musunga died during examination at the university clinic where he had been rushed. The two, who had been staying in the same room, were described as long-time lovers by their landlord, John Male. "They have been friendly and calm since they rented my house in 2008. Although the boy would drink, he was generally very cool," he said.

Neighbours reported that trouble started yesterday morning when Musunga returned home drunk at 4:00am. Nyiha declined to open the door for him. The landlord narrated that Musunga spent almost an hour knocking at the door, but his girlfriend only peeped through the window, laughed and ordered him out of her sight. Musunga slept at the house of a friend, David Mwenda, who is also a Kenyan. When he returned to his room at 11:00am, a brief quarrel ensued between the two, a neighbour said. "We heard the boy groaning and wondered what had happened."

When some neighbours went to check, they said they were shocked to find the boy in a pool of blood. His girlfriend reportedly dashed to a boda-boda stage to rush the victim to the university clinic where he died on arrival. The body now lies in Nsambya Hospital.

For several hours, Police detectives cordoned off the scene of the crime. They broke the padlock of the deceased’s room and picked blood-stained bed sheets, photographs and a knife among other exhibits.

Students who knew Nyiha said she was a born-again Christian and not quarrelsome. They described the deceased as a quiet, intelligent youth. Kansanga residents complained that many of the foreign students at the university’s main campus are rowdy and indisciplined. "They drink a lot, sparking off conflicts. I often receive complaints from landlords and residents concerning the improper behaviour of Kenyan students," the LC1 chairperson, Francis Sseguya, said. He called for collaboration between the Police, the community and university authorities to guarantee security in the area.

Muhammad Ndaula, the university vice-chancellor, regretted the incident, but defended the Kenyan students. The incident is just the latest in a series of murder cases involving students over love and alcohol.

In 2007, a Kenyan student, Duncan Njogu Kamore, was expelled from Busoga University for stabbing a colleague, Paul Mogaka, after they fought over a girl. In October 2008, 17-year-old Tadeo Bukye, an S4 student of Mpanga SS in Fort Portal, was stabbed to death by a jealous girlfriend at a school party. Last year in September, Phiona Mutamba, a student of Makerere University Business School, was stabbed by her boyfriend, also a student at the same school, before he committed suicide at Workers House in the centre of Kampala

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