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Kakamega High parents to know fate in Sh21m case next week

COUNTIES
By Benard Lusigi | December 1st 2021

According to the circular issued by the school, the actual damage was Sh12.1 million. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The High Court will on Friday next week determine whether or not the parents of Kakamega High Court will pay Sh21 million to cater for damages after a dormitory was burnt on November 6.

“Due to the urgency of the matter before me and having listened to prayers of both parties, I hereby order that the court will make its ruling over the matter on Friday, December 10, 2021,” said Justice William Musyoka.

The same court had temporarily stopped the management of the school from imposing a penalty of Sh9,823 on each student over the damages caused by the fire. The decision of the court followed an application by one of the parents, Boaz Vida, who sought to have the school's order reversed.

“The applicant is hereby granted leave to commence judicial review proceedings, more specifically to apply for the prerogative order of certiorari to bring into this court and quash the resolutions of the Board of Management meeting held on November 10, 2021,” the court orders read.

Oscar Munyendo, the lawyer representing parents, told the court that his clients were not involved in the decision and that the national school is under the maintenance of the Ministry of Education where parents pay Sh2,000 while the government pays Sh5,000 for maintenance.

"Article 53(1)(b) of the constitution states that every child has a right to free and compulsory basic education. Therefore, demanding that each child pays Sh9,823 is contrary to the article mentioned," said Munyendo.

He added: "The right of every child to free and compulsory basic education is being violated by the school's demand for Sh21 million. We are praying that the orders by the court suspending the said payment to remain."

According to the circular issued by the school management, the actual damage as per the assessment by the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, and Housing was Sh12.1 million.

However, the management of the school stated that it had to factor in Sh695,420 for the installation of CCTV in a yet-to-be-constructed dormitory. It also wants to buy 280 double-decker beds that would cost Sh4.1 million taking the figure to Sh21.6 million.

Lawyer Henry Wasilwa who is representing the school said parents were fully involved in the decision through the Parents Teachers Association (PTA). Wasilwa said the PTA is the only organ that represents parents on the Board of Management (BoM).

Burning dormitory at Kakamega High, November 6, 2021. [Benard Lusigi, Standard]

Wasilwa argued that the BoM is the only body mandated to manage the school's affairs. He said the government has not allocated money to the school to take care of damages.

Meanwhile, four female students suspected to have attempted to torch Moi Forces Academy in Nakuru County have each been released on Sh100,000 bond or an alternative of Sh50,000 each.

The students only named in court papers as CN, SN, JO, and HW because they are minors, were on Tuesday charged with attempted arson before Nakuru Principal Magistrate Yvonne Khatambi, a charge they denied.

They are alleged to have attempted to torch one of the dormitories called Mombasa House Dormitory on the night of November 27, with other students who were not before the court.

“The subjects willfully and unlawfully attempted to set fire the dormitory which is a property of the school located in Nakuru North sub-county,” read the charge papers.

They were arrested on November 28.

The case will be mentioned on December 9. 

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