TSC removes staff from school over tutor killing
Irene Githinji and Charles Muasya
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has now withdrawn all its six teachers from Ndooni Primary School in Kitui, with immediate effect.
Its move follows the lynching of teacher Daisy Mbithe Mbaluka by parents on Monday over alleged poor results in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination.
And yesterday two suspects were arraigned over the killing. The suspects, Wambua Mwangangi and Christopher Muli, who appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate Felistus Nekesa, did not take plea and were remanded for 21 days to allow police complete investigations.
They are expected back in court on February 7.
In a statement signed by Ibrahim Mumin for commission secretary Nancy Macharia, TSC condemned the unfortunate death of Mbaluka, saying there are better ways of resolving issues that may have contributed to her killing.
She also stated that the commission would not post any teacher to the school until their security is assured.
“The commission has, with immediate effect, withdrawn the six TSC teachers who have been working at the school.
The Commission wishes to inform the public that it takes the safety and security of all its teachers seriously.
TSC will not hesitate to take necessary measures including petitioning for the closure of institutions where security of teachers is at risk,” TSC stated.
Reports indicate that a group of parents stormed the school on Monday morning and closed it for undisclosed reasons before setting upon, beating and burning Mbaluka.
While condoling with the family, TSC assured it was working with other government agencies to establish circumstances under which the teacher met her death.
A mound of black soot, leading to Ndooni Primary School, some 140 kilometres from Kitui is the only evidence of the gruesome killing of Mbaluka.
For Mbaluka, Monday was a day like any other when schools re-opened for first term.
Like other parents, she prepared and took her children to school unaware of the tragedy awaiting her.
She dropped her two daughters at St Angela’s Secondary School before proceeding to her work station, a place where she was later attacked and lynched by those whose children she nursed and mentored.
The school’s head teacher, Dickson Muasya, told the People Daily yesterday that as Mbaluka approached the school, irate parents allegedly angered by the school’s dismal performance in last KCPE exam ambushed and set upon her with kicks and blows before setting ablaze her body.
After accomplishing their evil mission, the crazed parents are then said to have blockaded the school gate and demanded the transfer of all teachers.
“The school is in the interior part of the county and teachers have been harassed by parents, who often threaten to take law into their hands when schools fail to do well in examinations.
She had been in the school since 2017. The latest fatal incident is a culmination of several threats on teachers,’’ said Muasya.
The distraught head teacher said officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) were investigating the killing, which caused tension in the area.
Meanwhile, Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Kitui branch executive secretary Mutunga Ndingo dismissed the issue of poor performance, saying it was being used as an excuse to harass teachers, which is common in such remote areas.
“We have always demanded that teachers in desolate areas in the county be given protection as their lives are in danger, but no one has listened to us.
The victim was just an assistant teacher who should have not been subjected to such a brutal death,” he regretted.
On Wednesday, Knut through national secretary general Wilson Sossion, condemned the murder and urged Education and Interior ministries to act promptly and offer maximum security to teachers and school property before the situation runs out of control.
The union also called on police and provincial administration to act with speed and bring to book perpetrators of violence on teachers, saying the Kitui incident served as a warning that teachers were not safe.
“Parents who killed Mbathe should be investigated, arrested, charged and convicted according to the law of the land.
No stone should be left unturned as we have witnessed such ugly incidences in North Eastern Region, North Rift, Western and South Nyanza,” said Sossion.