Mystery surrounds student’s alleged suicide in school
The family of a 21-year-old Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidate at a Kilifi school, who allegedly committed suicide in the school compound, is now demanding police to investigate the circumstances surrounding their kin’s death.
Demand by the family comes after an autopsy performed on the body at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital (CGTRH) on Friday established “suffocation due to compression of the trachea” as the cause of death, an outcome, the bereaved family claims suggests foul play.
The body of Saumu Anderson Kazungu, who was a Form Four student at Ganze Girls Secondary School, was found behind a dormitory in the early hours of October 15 hanging from a metallic post with a bedsheet tied around her neck.
According to the family and local civil society organisation, the body was discovered by fellow students in a kneeling posture, a situation that has continued to elicit more questions than answers, amidst growing concerns that there could be an extra hand involved.
The deceased’s father, Anderson Kazungu Kadzoma narrated how he learnt of the tragic news of his third-born’s demise after persistent phone calls by the principal in the morning.
“The principal called and told me to go to the school urgently. I asked who she was and she said she was the principal of Ganze Girls. She told me to get a boda boda immediately and hung up.
“Shortly afterwards she called again and asked me where I was and I told her I was still at home but she insisted there was an emergency and I was needed at school.
When I asked what the emergency was, she told me my daughter Saumu had committed suicide,” explained Kadzoma.
Addressing the press at the Coast General Hospital in Mombasa, he said he then called a relative and they organised for transport and rushed to the school.
“We were expecting to find the body hanging from somewhere above because there are trees outside the dormitories.
So we were looking up but to our surprise, we were shown the body kneeling on the ground from a very low height in where anyone can easily touch while standing,” Kadzoma said, adding police were in a hurry to remove the body.
His brother Kalume Nzai said the ground where the body was found was undisturbed and showed no signs of struggle.
According to Nzai, everyone at the school remained mum and was unwilling to divulge information about the incident.
The family has questioned how the incident could have happened in the school’s compound which is under watchful eyes of security guards, besides, the school matron, nurse and the rest of the students in the dormitory.
“We need a serious probe into this issue. Yes, she died of suffocation but who caused it. Did she really commit suicide?
I can’t believe I lost my daughter just like that. I used a lot of resources to educate her to that level and then this happens. We need more answers,” said Kadzoma.
Coast human rights lobby groups -Kilifi Social Justice Center and Haki Africa- called for intervention from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation and other relevant bodies.
“ We want the DCI to do a thorough investigation to establish what led to the death of Saumu,” said Kilifi social justice center rapid response officer Eric Mgoja.