No SRC elections – KNUST announces after Katanga, Conti clash
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has placed an indefinite ban on Student Representative Council (SRC) elections over a bloody fight on campus.
A free-for-all fight between students affiliated to the University Hall (Katanga) and the Unity Hall (Conti) left scores of students badly wounded.
The students attacked each other with broken bottles and other weapons, including machetes, on Saturday, July 3, during a screening process for SRC elections.
In response, “Management of KNUST has suspended all activities leading to the 2021 SRC elections with immediate effect until further notice”.
A statement signed by the University Relations Officer (URO) Dr Norris Bekoe and copied to The Ghana Report on Sunday, July 4, said:
“One student is officially known to have sustained a minor injury in his palm from a broken bottle and is undergoing treatment at the KNUST Hospital. Some chairs, flowerpots and glass doors at the Great Hall were also damaged”.
The release said investigations revealed that the vetting proceeded smoothly until it got to the aspirants for the SRC presidential slot when the clash occurred.
Security officers made up of Ghana Police Service, and university security personnel present managed to restore calm.
A committee is to be constituted to thoroughly investigate the matter and make appropriate recommendations for the consideration of authorities.
Meanwhile, the management has assured all parents and stakeholders there is absolute calm and students are going about their normal activities peacefully.
The university said it would continue to provide a safe and secure environment for productive academic work.
What led to Saturday’s clashes
There were two incidents recorded within the period.
At the beginning of the vetting, members of the two all-male halls marched into the venue to cheer their preferred candidates.
“When the Katangees arrived, there was some confusion between them and the Continentals. One gentleman believed to be part of the management team of an aspirant from Conti was preventing the ‘Katangees’ from entering the Hall. This caused the first chaos between the two sides,” an eyewitness narrated.
The Kantangees had no mercy for the gentleman, and they beat him up mercilessly. He ended up bleeding profusely from broken bottles that cut various parts of his body.
After the incident, there was relative calm, and the vetting process started smoothly.
However, the Electoral Commissioner decided to postpone the vetting after excessive chanting of songs by various groups from the two halls who had converged on the venue.
Several attempts to keep the students calm was unsuccessful, leaving the EC with no other choice but to reschedule for another day.
But the students would have none of that.
It resulted in another round of clashes where the students allegedly used machetes to slash one another.
“The fight broke. It was very bizarre. Someone even threw a machete, which is suspected to have hurt someone. There were knives and other weapons that were used to attack members of the halls involved. I can say there are both minor and major injuries that need urgent medical attention,” the eyewitness noted.
Some of the injured persons were taken to the KNUST Hospital for treatment.