More schools go up in flames

Students of Kaimosi Boys High School in Vihiga County search their boxes to salvage valuables after a fire razed their dormitory on July 15, 2016. In Embu, property worth millions of shillings was destroyed after fire gutted a dormitory, staff room and two classrooms in Embu High School on July 17, 2016. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Embu West DCIO Joshua Cheptoo said they suspected an arson attack and had arrested five students, who were being interrogated.
  • Governor Patrick Khaemba called on students in the region to desist from torching their school properties as a way to express dissatisfaction with school heads.

More schools have been closed following a wave of arson attacks.

In Embu, property worth millions of shillings was destroyed after fire gutted a dormitory, staff room and two classrooms at Embu High School on Sunday night.

The fire, which started at around 7pm, spread quickly and the Embu County fire fighters only managed to put it out shortly before midnight.

The principal, Ms Linet Manyengo, said the fire started after the students went for evening preps. “I heard a loud explosion from the tuition area and suddenly the lights went off,” she said.

Ms Manyengo said some students had complained about the forthcoming mock examinations and others did not want to sit end of term exams.

The students fled the institution, leaving villagers and workers to battle the fire.

Embu West DCIO Joshua Cheptoo said they suspected an arson attack and had arrested five students, who were being interrogated.

And in the neighbouring Meru County, students of St Angelic Girls Secondary School were forced to spend Sunday night in the cold after their dormitory was burnt down and a store also razed.

The 10pm incident happened when the students were in class, and destroyed property worth millions of shillings.

Attempts by neighbours and students to put out the blaze failed.

Meru OCS Joseph Kyoyo said: “We have launched investigations into the matter and those responsible will be arrested and arraigned for arson. We suspect a case of arson.

And in Trans Nzoia County, property worth millions of shillings was reduced to ashes after a fire gutted a dormitory at St Theresa’s Bikeke Girls on Sunday night.

“The cause of the fire is still being investigated. No student was hurt, but some were taken to hospital after suffocating from smoke,” said Trans Nzoia Police Commandant Lilian Okembo.

Governor Patrick Khaemba called on students in the region to desist from torching their school properties as a way to express dissatisfaction with school heads.

The incident comes barely a week after another school in Cherang’any constituency incurred a Sh5 million loss. Three dormitories were partly burnt at St Francis Suwerwa Secondary School.

WHY?

Meanwhile, 11 students from St Francis Kimuron Secondary School in Elgeyo-Marakwet County are in police custody after they were arrested with four litres of petrol they had allegedly sneaked into their school Monday.

Keiyo OCPD Fredrick Ochieng says the students told police that they were protesting a decision by their principal, Mr Edwin Kosgei, to introduce use of meal cards-criteria in the dining hall, denying students who had not cleared fees food. The boys admitted they wanted to burn the school.

And Tengecha Boys High School in Bureti constituency was on Monday closed indefinitely after students threatened a second round of unrest.

This comes barely a month after a 600-bed dormitory was razed at the school. The students are reported to have circulated leaflets in the school compound, warning of an impending strike on Saturday night.

In Homa Bay, a school laboratory was destroyed after a fire razed the building at the weekend. Rachuonyo South police boss Patrick Onsando said preliminary investigations revealed suspected arson at Atela Mixed Secondary School.

Reported by Charles Wanyoro, Agnes Aboo, Philip Bwayo, Philemon Suter, Timothy Kemei and Maurice Kaluoch

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.