What you need to know:
- A harsher penalty should be meted out on school safety instructors who sleep on the job because this is not the first time it is happening.
- We cannot even correctly arrange wood planks on four corners to build a safe classroom, and we want to assure Kenyans that we are ready to build a nuclear power plant?
As Kenyans were settling in for the new week, devastating news came through that a stampede had occurred at Kakamega Primary School, killing 14 boys and girls and sending to hospital many more.
It is a pity that our children brave biting poverty at home and reckless boda-boda riders on the road, only to die at what is supposed to be the safest environment for learning.
If the government wants to convert our schools into deathtraps, they shouldn’t bother sending a bill to parliament because the concerned parents are not found there.
No parent sends their child to school to die. School is supposed to be a sanctuary.
A harsher penalty should be meted out on school safety instructors who sleep on the job because this is not the first time it is happening.
If lessons cannot be learnt, they will fail the exams, and no Kenyan parent wants to see the results again.
We live in a country where the government has no regard for court orders, and the lives of schoolgoing children.
In September last year, a classroom at Precious Talents Top School in Nairobi came tumbling down, killing eight early risers and injuring many more.
The accident scene resembled a crash site. You would have been forgiven to think aliens threw a giant stone at it from outer space.
We cannot even correctly arrange wood planks on four corners to build a safe classroom, and we want to assure Kenyans that we are ready to build a nuclear power plant?
There is nothing to be proud of in a country that cannot differentiate between a classroom and a pigsty.
When our children aren’t being crammed into a suffocating class fit for a gas chamber, they are forced to wade through muddy classroom floors whenever it rains.
If the government wanted our schoolgoing children to develop webbed feet as a means of survival, they should have revised the Coat-of-Arms to include a duck.
Deputy President William Ruto did well by showing up in Kakamega to deliver the President’s message, and dispense bear hugs.
In times of sorrow, an assurance is always needed that the government stands by its people, even when actions haven’t always been matched with words.
Kakamega Primary School parents deserve to be told why their children had to die, and the answers shouldn’t come from politicians who have taken advantage of this tragedy to outdo each other on who has the cleanest set of teeth and the coolest camera crew.
When Kenyans asked government officials to show solidarity with the afflicted parents, we didn’t approve of our taxes being used to accumulate air miles to go and say what had been already said.
If the parents of the victims needed an echo chamber, they wouldn't have asked for it to be delivered in a helicopter.
Climate change experts have been warning us against the dangers of burning unnecessary fuel, but it looks like government officials would rather die than stop contributing to our carbon footprint.
SAME OLD STORY
When we are not paying taxes for them to steal, we are buying iron birds for them to contribute to global warming.
The Kakamega school tragedy has taught us that politicians not only love the sound of their own voices but they are also good students of English literature.
We watched in disappointment as government officials paraded themselves to recite the same poem usually tailor-made for disaster scenes – promising hell for those complicit and heaven for themselves.
Next time they should consider carrying adjudicators along, because Kenyans need to tell them to their faces that this mockery is no longer welcome.
For a long time, Kenyans have held this firm belief that only ruminants chew food they had already consumed, but it looks like some people in government have cows as their role models, and it is difficult to argue with their choice of animal totem.
It is now eight years since the Jubilee government took over the instruments of government, but from the content of Dr Ruto’s speech you would be forgiven to think they had just been sworn in, and couldn’t wait to send their predecessors to jail for exposing school children to avoidable risks.
We know there is no Ministry of Amnesia but Kenyans need to be told if the government left accountability to accountants, so that next time we can go to the ballot booth with our calculators to help us tick the right box.
As we bid farewell to President Daniel arap Moi, let us not forget the 14 boys and girls whom we failed to protect from harm.
May they find it in their hearts to forgive us, because if they don’t we will be forced to pay for the government’s negligence, on top of taxes.
Mr Oguda comments on topical issues; email@example.com