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High Court to determine Kakamega High School Sh21 million penalty case on December 10

By Benard Lusigi | November 30th 2021

Lawyer Henry Wasilwa representing Kakamega High School board management at Kakamega High Court on November 30, 2021. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The High Court will determine on December 10 whether the parents of Kakamega High School will pay Sh21 million fine for the dormitory destroyed by fire or not.

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

This was the first hearing since the same court stopped the management of Kakamega High School from imposing a penalty on the parents for damages caused by fire on November 6.

A parent, Boaz Vida had earlier moved to court seeking to have the school management barred from collecting the money from parents.

“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 the 10th of November,2021,” read in part the court orders.

Oscar Munyendo, a lawyer representing parents, told the court that parents were not widely involved in the matter and that the National school is under the maintenance of the ministry of education where parents pay Sh2000 while government Sh 5000.

"Article 10 of the constitution requires for National values and principles of governance and article 50 states for fair hearing while 53(1)(b) states that every child has a right of free and compulsory basic education arguing that demanding children to pay Sh9823 was contrary and against the article mentioned," said Munyendo.

He added that 53(1)(b) states that every child has a right of free and compulsory basic education was being violated by the school demanding children to pay Sh9823, praying the orders by court on suspending the payment to remain.

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

The management also factored in Sh695,420 for the cost of CCTV installation in the yet-to-be-constructed dormitory, with the 280 double-Decker beds cost put at Sh4.1 million taking the figure to Sh21.6 million.

Henry Wasilwa, lawyer representing the school management, told the court that the Parents Teachers Association(PTA) is the only organ representing parents in board of management and that the school management fully involved parents in coming up with the decision.

Wasilwa argued that the Board of Management is the only body mandated to manage the school affairs and not anyone else adding that, tere is no allocation for damages in school by the government.

“Any public entity as in this case the school has a duty to ensure that children hygiene and public safety is fully guaranteed and that the applicants have not exhausted any statutory provision towards the motion of the court upholding its decision, asking the court to quash the existing orders,” said Wasilwa.

Yesterday's court pronouncement means that parents will have to will have to wait a little longer to know their fate.

It also means students including those in Form Four could be forced to stay at home until the matter is determined.

Meanwhile, four female students suspected to have attempted to torch Moi Forces Academy, in Nakuru have been released on Sh100,000 bond.

The four-CN, SN, JO and HW, will alternatively pay a cash bail of Sh50,000.

The students were yesterday charged with attempted arson before Nakuru Principal Magistrate Yvonne Khatambi.

They, however, denied the charges.

They are alleged to have attempted to torch one of their dormitories dubbed Mombasa House Dormitory on the night of November 27, with other students not before 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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