School shut after botched plot to burn dormitory

Thursday, February 4th, 2021 00:00 |
Pupils in class. Photo/Courtesy

Kibabii Boys’ High School in Bungoma County was yesterday closed indefinitely after students attempted to raze down a dormitory. 

The move forced the school management to send the students home, in a bid to safeguard lives after police officers thwarted the scheme. 

Tuesday night’s incident was foiled after a teacher on duty informed the principal of the smell of petrol at the densely populated St Paul’s dormitory. The principal then alerted police. 

Officers based at the Kibabii Patrol Unit rushed to the institution and conducted a thorough search and recovered a half-litre bottle containing petrol hidden under one of the beds. 

Officers also discovered that at least six blankets in the dormitory that houses 200 students had been doused in gasoline. 

Arrested students

They  interrogated several students and arrested 11 suspects, who are currently being detained at Bungoma Police Station for further questioning. 

Institution now joins 15 other schools that  have been closed down in Bungoma in the past one week due to student unrest and arson.

This came even as some six students from Lugulu Girls High School were expelled for allegedly inciting their colleagues to participate in an illegal demonstration that happened last year. 

School principal Dinah Cheruiyot said the decision was reached after the Board of Management concluded its investigations. 

The expelled girls were expected to sit for their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KSCE) exam next month. Some parents of the affected students protested bitterly about the decision to expel the candidates only a month to the national exams.

Addressing the press in Bungoma town yesterday, Sibalile Natembeya, an irate parent whose child was expelled, said the school had not addressed the cause of the protests yet their daughters have been victimised.  

He protested that they had invested a lot in their daughters’ education especially during the Covid-19 period while vowing to take legal action.  

“I am a bitter parent. My  daughter had to protest because her cousin was raped. She was expelled for demanding justice,” said Natembeya. 

Natembeya called on Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to intervene, saying the move would kill their daughters’ dreams. 

In another incident, eight students from a school in Bomet Central were sent home following ethnic tensions pitting learners from two communities at the institution.

The students are said to have engaged in a bitter argument over an unknown issue on Monday night before degenerating into fistfight.

The eight, from one particular ethnic group, are said to have started the conflict, forcing the school administration to send them  home pending further investigations. Senior education and security officials were also called to the school on Tuesday where they ratified the decision after a daylong meeting.

County Education Director Indiatsi Mabale did not answer our calls or reply to the messages.  Reporting  by Yusuf Masibo, Felix Yegon and Roy Lumbe

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