Teachers burn 'devil-worshipping' student in Nairobi

17 year old Form 2 student from Strait Secondary school in Laini saba in Kibera slums narrates how she was assaulted by teachers in the staffroom whereby she was tied with wood and ropes and one of the teachers inflicted her with severe burns from kerosene and plastic bags on her hands and the legs over suspicion of being a devil worshiper. on 23rd march 2016 [PHOTO/DAVID GICHURU/Standard]

A student has accused her teachers of burning her after accusing her of being a devil-worshipper.

The 17-year-old Form Two student at Strait Secondary School in Kibera, Nairobi, claims the cruel punishment was meted out by two senior teachers on March 17 as the principal watched.

The girl says her hands and feet were tied during the ordeal. The teachers were also allegedly demanding to know about another student.

"I was called to the staff room at 2pm together with another girl who is in Form One. The deputy and senior teacher kept asking me about a certain Form Four girl called Elizabeth. They wanted me to disclose her whereabouts but I told them she was not even my friend," she said.

"They asked me to bend and suddenly, I was slapped hard on both sides of my head. The teacher told me if I did not confess about my relationship with Elizabeth I would not like what would follow."

The teachers then tied up her hands and feet. "I begged them to stop because I do not know about the girl but they said I should be prepared to get burnt."

She added: "That was when I heard him suggesting that they should do something extreme that would force the demons out of me."

Then the teachers reportedly gathered plastic bags, poured kerosene on them and used them to burn the girl.

Despite her pleas for mercy, the teachers are said to have continued beating her to force her to confess that she was a devil-worshipper.

Later, they called her parents after taking her to Mbagathi Hospital.

Principal Joyce Syokau, however, denies that she was present when the staff room was turned into a torture chamber. The girl insists she was there.

Ms Syokau claims the girl finally confessed that she was a devil-worshipper. "The teachers said that they even prayed and she fell down so they believed she was possessed," she said.

The girl's father said his daughter is a loyal Catholic. "You cannot be a Christian and devil-worshipper at the same time. They should have just called me to pick my child."

Stephen Nzusa, the lawyer who has taken up the case, says the school is not registered by the Government.