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St Augustine headmistress charged with murder of pupil

By Mkamburi Mwawasi | Published Fri, July 28th 2017 at 00:00, Updated July 27th 2017 at 23:59 GMT +3
Lawyer Francis Kadima (left) consults Kesi Sara at the Mombasa High Court in Mombasa County on Thursday 27th July 2017, where she is, together with Venant Mwaliko, Vald Mbadi, Abednego Fundi and Charo Kazungu are facing charges of killing a six years old boy. The court did not allow them to take plea and directed that they should be medically examined first. They will be charged in August 21. Photo/Kelvin Karani

In summary

  • Mombasa principal, 5 others charged for murder of six year old accident victim
  • The pupil slipped through a hole in the school bus and was crushed to death last week

The High Court in Mombasa has ruled that the headmistress of the school whose bus killed a six-year-old pupil will face murder charges.

The pupil slipped through a hole in the school bus and was crushed to death last week.

Following a public outcry, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) recommended murder charges against St Augustine's preparatory school head teacher and four other employees.

The suspects, through their lawyers, Francis Kadima and Gikandi Ngibuini, objected to the charge and requested the High Court to order an inquest to establish the nature of and circumstances leading to the child's death.

But in her ruling on Thursday, High Court Judge Dorah Chepkwony upheld murder charges against the five and directed the defence to concentrate on challenging them.

Justice Chepkwony directed that the school's headmistressKesi Sara, and employees Venant Mwasaru, Veld Mbadi, Abednego Mwenda and Charo Kazungu plead to murder on August 21 and freed them on bond.

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The judge directed the accused persons to undergo a psychiatric examination at the Coast Provincial General Hospital to prove that they are fit to plead to murder charges.

"I therefore find at this stage the defence should hold their horses and allow due process to go through [as recommended] by the DPP," she ruled.

The judge said the decision to charge and prosecute the accused persons was the prerogative of the DPP.

The court released the accused persons on a Sh1 million personal bond and directed them to report to the Regional Police Commander every Monday until they plead to the charges.

On Wednesday, the defence called for an inquest into the death of the six year old pupil instead of preferring murder charges against the accused. They argued that it would be improper for the accused  to be charged with murder until the full nature of the events leading to the death is established.

The suspects contended that the death issued from an accident whose causes and scope should be established before legal culpability can be ascertained and allocated.

Kadima and Ngubuini told the court that charges of murder were not relevant in the case since the circumstances under which the pupil died related to a traffic accident and not murder.

They argued that the DPP was under pressure by social media and political forces to be seen as one who was taking action.

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