70 more students charged with arson as cases of school fires spread

Five students of Ololung’a Boys Secondary in Narok South leave court after being charged with attempted arson. They were released on Sh250,000 bond each and surety of similar amount. (PHOTO: ROBERT KIPLAGAT/ STANDARD)

About 70 more students have been charged with arson even as cases of school fires continue to spread countrywide.

In Nakuru, 28 students were arraigned in a Molo court yesterday and charged with attempted arson. The students from Rongai Boys High School are alleged to have committed the offence on July 22.

They appeared before Molo Senior Resident Magistrate James Wanyaga and denied the charges and were released on Sh50,000 bond each.

Thirty two secondary school students were yesterday arraigned before a Murang'a court charged with arson.

The students from Gaturi Girls, St Paul Boys and Dr Gitau Secondary schools were charged before Murang'a Principal Magistrate Antony Mwicigi.

The students were released on a bond of Sh50,000 each with a surety of similar amount or cash bail of Sh10,000 until August 8 this year when a report from the children's department is expected to be brought in court.

Twelve of the students from St Paul Boys High School were charged with burning a dormitory valued at Sh7.5 million on July 22, this year.

Another 12 students from Dr Gitau Secondary School, who included a girl, were charged with being in possession of half a litre of paraffin with intent to burn a dormitory at the institution on July 22, this year.

Eight other students from Gaturi Girls Secondary School were charged with intent to burn a dormitory on July 23, this year.

In the same court, a secondary school teacher Evanson Macharia was charged with incitement to violence.

The teacher at Kiaguthu Boys School in Kahuro was charged that on July 22, this year, he circulated an offending message through social media.

The teacher was released on a bond of Sh50,000 or a cash bail of Sh20,000. The case will be heard on September 15.

In Kericho County, Tengecha Boys High School in Bureti has suffered losses estimated at Sh12 million while Londiani Boys High School lost a dormitory worth at least Sh4.6 million in fire incidents.

And two students from Lelu Secondary are currently facing charges before a Kericho court.

Five students from Ololung'a Boys Secondary School have been released on a bond of Sh250,000 each and a surety of similar amount by Narok Chief Magistrate Wilbroda Juma for attempting to burn down their school.

More than 20 students were arrested and questioned following a fire incident at the Langata High School in Nairobi on Sunday that left 15 students injured.

"The students lost everything in the fire," Nairobi police commander Japheth Koome said.

And students of Wanguru Girls High School went on the rampage and set the school on fire while two students from Mweru Secondary School in Mukurweini spent Sunday night in police custody after they were nabbed while trying to buy petrol.

Five students were on Sunday arrested and taken to Wanguru Police Station where they were interrogated and released.

The school Board of Management Chairman Peter Ndambiri said "going by a layman's estimation, the damage could be about Sh10.5 million".

In Kirinyaga, Kiine Girls High also suffered massive losses after students torched dormitories.

In Trans Nzoia County, a dormitory at Kapsara Mixed Secondary school went up in flames yesterday morning while students were in class.

The cause of the fire is yet to be established.

Other schools that have been affected by fire incidents in the county are St Francis Suwerwa, St Teresa Boys Bikeke, St Teresa Girls Bikeke and St Immaculate Mukuyu.

So far, Emmanuel Simiyu, a teacher at St Teresa Girls Bikeke, has been charged with incitement and destruction of property.