Tot high school principal was negligent, Matiang’i says following bandit attack

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i. [File, Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has said that Tot Mixed Day Secondary School principal was negligent by allowing the school bus to operate past 6:30pm on Thursday.

A driver, two teachers and 13 students were attacked on the Arror-Mogil road at Kerio Valley, Elgeyo Marakwet County at 10:30pm on Thursday, February 17.

The victims were returning from a school trip, Elgeyo Marakwet County Police Commander Patrick Lumumba said.

The injured were taken to the Kapsowar Mission Hospital for treatment.

Speaking at the Kenya School of Government in Kabete, Kiambu County, on Friday, February 18, the CS said the Tot High School administration flouted rules on school buses operating hours.

“The government regrets last night’s attack on teachers, a driver and students of Tot High School. The attack occurred at 10:30pm. There is a government policy restricting travel of school buses beyond 6:30pm. In the Tot incident, the school administrators were in clear violation of the stipulated policy,” Matiang’i said.

“The fact that the area of the incident is prone to bandit attacks should have informed more caution by the school administration,” he added.

The minister, consequently, ordered the immediate arrest and prosecution of Tot High School principal for violating the 6:30pm policy, and for allegedly being negligent.

“More arrests will likely follow after full investigations on the matter,” he said.

The CS further warned other school heads against violating the 6:30pm school buses policy, saying should there be a violation of the rule, the principals and head-teachers would be arrested and prosecuted.

Education CS George Magoha, who was present at the Kenya School of Government, asked school heads to direct school buses to nearby police stations should 6:30pm find learners in transit.

“Our children’s safety is the government’s number one priority,” he said.

Interior ministry chief, Matiang’i, stated that next week, he will recommend to the National Security Council that Pokot Warriors be declared an outlawed group.

“The recommended categorisation will allow for more forceful interventions against the group. The [Tot] incident is a clear case of criminal aggression masqueraded as cattle rustling and cultural practice,” he said.

The minister further said the government is considering placing sections of the North Rift under curfew.

“The ministry has put in place adequate measures to secure both KCPE and KCSE scheduled to begin next month,” he said.