Mukumu Girls: Parents sue over daughter's death

A sign at Mukumu Girls High School. [Robert Amalemba, Standard]

The parents of a student from Mukumu Girls School who died due to food poisoning have taken legal action against the school, demanding compensation.

With the help of their lawyer, Abel Nyaberi, the parents of Miriam Namajanja - who was in Form Two at the time of her death - are seeking an unspecified amount in damages. They attribute their daughter’s death to the school’s negligence.

They have named the school’s Board of Governors chairman, Father Vincent Mukokho, and the school principal, Sister Jane Mmbone, as the respondents, alleging that they neglected their responsibility to protect the student who died at a Kakamega hospital after falling ill at school.

“There was an outbreak of an infection related to food and water poisoning which resulted in hospitalisation of several students and subsequent demise of a number of them, including Ms Namajanja,” says Mr Nyaberi in court papers.

Nyaberi continues: “It is now within your knowledge that the unfortunate deaths were as a result of the institution’s total negligence as to the health and safety of its students as well as that of its teachers and staff who you well know that you absolutely owed a duty of care and from which you deliberately abdicated.”

The parents argue that their family has suffered an irreplaceable loss due to their daughter’s death, for which they believe the school should be held accountable.

The lawsuit comes after Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu had previously informed the Senate on May 30 that the government would allocate Sh1.2 million to compensate the parents of three students who died of food poisoning at the school.