By Onesmus Nzioka
A primary school in Kibwezi District has been closed indefinitely following a long-standing land feud between the school and one of its neighbours.
Pupils at Athi-Kamunyuni Primary School were sent home on July 9 after the dispute degenerated into violent attacks on the parents. The said neighbour and his two brothers allegedly threatened to kill anyone who steps on the school compound.
In a letter to the Education minister, the parents claim they withdrew their children from the school because they were worried of their safety.
The letter reads in part “...parents have instructed their children to go home because the three brothers are threatening to kill anyone who steps in the school compound, even the children.”
Trouble started last year when the neighbour launched spirited efforts to reclaim part of the land claiming it belonged to him, and that he was not aware that his late father donated it to the school.
According to the school head teacher, Josephat Mukeku, the man wants to repossess 58 acres, which he claims is part of his inheritance. The said piece of land had been earmarked for construction of a secondary school, an Administration Police post and a village polytechnic.
On April 5, he is said to have hired some men at nightfall to clear and make a new boundary in the school compound, carving out the 58 acres he claims are his.
Angry parents burned down the new boundary and sought the help of education and administration officers to protect the school land. Their efforts were, however, nipped in the bud when the hired men and their master were arrested.
On July 7 as parents prepared the ground for construction of the said secondary school, the man and his family are said to have attacked the parents using machetes, injuring four.