23 High School students have been arrested for attempted arson. 12 were from Ingotse Boy High School in Kakamega county while 11 were from Kibabii High school in Bungoma County.
The 11 Kibabii High school students were found with petrol in their dormitory. According to the school’s principal Nicodemus Ogeto, he was notified by teachers of an existing smell of petrol in one of the dormitories.
Police were notified of the incident and upon searching the dorm, a bottle of petrol was found under one of the student’s beds with six other blankets splashed with petrol.
“Police officers visited the scene, conducted a thorough search in the dormitory that houses 200 students. They found a bottle containing petrol hidden under one of the beds,” said the report filed at Kibabii Police Station.
The interrogation then led to the arrest of the 11.
On the other hand, the students in Ingotse Boys High School will be detained for 14 more days following the attempted arson.
The twelve had been nabbed with half a litre of petrol with indications that they intended to torch the dormitory.
Appearing before Kakamega Senior Principal Magistrate Erick Malesi, they denied the charges with the case set for mention on February 15, 2020.
Cases of arson have been on the rise in schools, with the blame being shifted from parents to teachers. The cases have also been linked to indiscipline.
On Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a warning to students following the increased cases of indiscipline and arson in schools.
Speaking to members of the press on Friday morning, State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena Mararo said the Head of State was greatly concerned over the trend, with at least 10 schools having reported incidents of fire since reopening on January 4, 2021.
Mrs Mararo said the National Police Service and the Ministry of Education officials have been directed by the President to probe the incidents and bring the culprits to book.
“The President notes with great concern to increasing cases of Arson in Schools across the Republic and would like to remind the Perpetrators of the Serious Crimes that the National Police Service working with the Ministry of Education are under His firm instructions to deal decisively with anyone found culpable, ” said Mrs Mararo.
Prior to that, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha rooted for the return of corporal punishment in schools as a way of dealing with unruly students linked to indiscipline cases.
The tough-talking minister said capital punishment holds the key to settling cases where “students have grown horns.”