Police accused of beating up, injuring students to stop “planned strike”

A student injured by police shows his swollen left hand.
Police officers have been accused of using excessive force to thwart a planned strike at Mathemba Secondary School.

The officers from Kavumbu Police Station injured several students in the operation at the school.

According to students interviewed by The Standard, the officers stormed the institution and frog-marched a number of them to an isolated room, where they were brutally beaten up.

The students said the officers coerced them to name teachers and parents who had allegedly been inciting them against school Principal Willimina Matheka.

“Police came to classes picking specific students. I think they had been supplied with a list. We were taken to the science lab, locked up, forced to stand on our hands, with legs hanging on tables, and brutally beaten. In the process, I sustained a fracture on my hand,” said a Form Three student.

When The Standard visited the school, broken sticks were strewn all over the laboratory.

Another student suffered an eye injury.

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Seven other boys and three girls who had injuries were suspended.

Angry parents who camped at the school demanding justice for their children protested police brutality, saying it was wrong to use excessive force on the learners.

They claimed the school management was using police officers' brutality after accusations of embezzling of development money were raised.

“We paid for development fee and for the students to be brought clean water for drinking but instead, the school has been supplying students with dirty water obtained from Matinga Dam. The water is not fit for human consumption.

"The dormitories have no panes. When we raised this issue last term, we were assured the management would act,” said Patrick Ngumbau, a parent.

Students said since they reopened for third term, the officers had been hovering in the school in to prevent any possible riots by students.

Johana Wambua, another parent, said they would withdraw their children and close the school if there was no permanent solution.

Makueni police commander Joseph ole Naipeyan said he was aware the officers were called to the school but could not confirm if students were injured. “I'm not aware the police injured students, but if there are some who were injured, we request them go to hospital, get treated and obtain a P3 form. Investigations will commence to find what exactly happened,” he said.

County Education Director James Mureithi, who held a meeting with the school Board of Management at the institution, declined to address journalists.

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Mathemba Secondary SchoolPolice injure student