A Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam candidate died over the weekend after being stabbed in Molo, Nakuru County during circumcision celebrations.
Samuel Kariuki, a 17 year-old candidate at Chandera Secondary School in Turi, Molo Sub-County, was in a group of 11 boys who went to visit their colleagues who had undergone the cut.
An argument is said to have ensued over food before a fight broke out during the incident.
According to his cousin, Mr Kevin Kimani, the boys were served tea by the caretaker of the two initiates, but were denied more food, which angered them.
“When the owner of the house heard the commotion, he came out with a whip and hit the house from outside. The caretaker removed a knife and stood on the bed ordering us to get out,” he claimed.
He said the owner of the house pushed the door from outside and the boys struggled to run out of the house.
“When we got to the village centre, one of us said my cousin had been stabbed and was bleeding. I went back for him and found him about 45 meters from the house,” he said.
RUSHED TO HOSPITAL
The victim was rushed to a nearby health centre and later to Molo Sub-County Hospital where he succumbed to the injuries.
However, a brother of the owner of the house, Mr Kahuni Wakimotho, disputed the boys’ account, stating that the stabbing did not take place in his brother’s compound.
“If the boy was stabbed in that house then there would be blood stains all over that house,” he argued.
He claimed the disagreement arose when the caretaker, who is in police custody, opposed the boys’ idea to give the initiates bhang and rebuked them.
He claimed the boys were infuriated as a result.
The mother to the deceased described his son as a well-mannered boy who did not smoke bhang as suggested.
“I never had a problem with him concerning his behaviour and he did not indulge in any drugs," said Ms Susan Mukami.
She said the death was sad and unexpected since the family had prepared Kariuki for the ongoing national examinations and had expected him to perform well.
Confirming the incident, Molo Deputy County Commissioner David Wanyonyi said police were investigating the matter to establish the cause of the death.
He warned against traditional rites of passage asking parents to modernise the practice.
“As much as these practices are accepted by law, the government is advocating for alternative rites of passage that do not involve illegal activities that may include smoking bhang and molestation,” he added.
And in Nakuru, another candidate is sitting his exams at the County Referral Hospital after he went down with pneumonia on Sunday afternoon.
The student is undergoing treatment and monitoring at the hospital
Dr Silas Lodekee said the candidate had stabilised.
“He is now doing well and we are keeping an eye on him to ensure that he goes on with his exams well and recovers fully," the doctor said, indicating that the candidate might be discharged at the end of the week.
Elsewhere, another KCSE candidate has given birth while doing her exams in Kwale County.
The 18-year-old student from Ramisi Secondary School gave birth to a baby boy on Monday at Msambweni County Referral Hospital.
The hospital’s manager Halima Mwagutsi said that the candidate developed labour pains and was taken to the hospital on Monday morning.
"She safely delivered a bouncing baby boy while she was sitting for her Mathematics paper at around 11am. She later proceeded with her exam at the ward," she said.
Ms Mwagutsi added that the candidate was in stable condition, saying she will continue to sit the remaining papers.
"The baby is also in a stable condition. We will discharge her soon,” she said.
Additional reporting by Fadhili Fredrick