At least 15 secondary school students have been arrested as police intensified investigations into a fire that destroyed a dormitory on Wednesday last week.
County Police Commander Muchangi Kioi said detectives also recovered 12 bottles containing a suspicious liquid from the Lamu Boys Secondary School students.
He said the liquid may have been used to start the fire that destroyed 50 mattresses, beds and students’ belongings.
“Those arrested are in police custody for interrogation before we arraign them before court. We will ensure those behind the attack face the full force of the law,” said Mr Kioi as the school was closed indefinitely.
He said students had made three attempts to burn down the school in the last one week.
Efforts to get a comment from County Education Director William Mucheni were futile as he was in a meeting with the school’s board of management.
“Property worth Sh2 million was destroyed and we suspect the students started the fire.
“They want to go home for Ramadhan but we have rejected their demands as this will affect coverage of the syllabus,” said Masjid Basheikh, chairman of the school board. On Wednesday this week, hundreds of parents stormed the school demanding to be allowed to take their children home.
They said the school managers could no longer be trusted with the safety of the students.
Other reports had indicated that the fire was cause by an electric fault.
On Sunday, a prefects’ cubicle was set ablaze and property destroyed. Ten students were suspended following the incident.
Meanwhile, the Taita Taveta county assembly has passed a law that allows the county executive to finance the education of bright but needy students.
The County Education Fund Board (Amendment) Bill and Regulations 2018 will give beneficiaries access to funding in the form of bursaries, scholarships and loans for higher education.
The law was adopted during a special sitting led by temporary speaker Paul Kang’ethe. [Additional reporting by Renson Mnyamwezi]