A Form Four student in Homa Bay County has shocked many after he was found with a gun in school. The young man was arrested for pointing the weapon at his schoolmates.
The incident comes days after another student was charged with setting a dormitory on fire at Moi Girls School, Nairobi, killing nine students.
The 17-year-old Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education candidate was arraigned in a Homa Bay court on a charge of holding a gun illegally.
The student of Orero Secondary School was found with a pistol on Tuesday evening after his colleagues raised the alarm when he pointed it at them.
Homa Bay Senior Principal Magistrate Susan Ndegwa, however, deferred the plea taking to Thursday after the prosecution asked for more time to enable an age assessment to be conducted on the student.
Valarie Ongeti, the prosecutor, said age assessment should be carried out to establish whether the student is fit to stand trial.
According to the charge sheet presented in court, the minor was charged with illegal possession of a HK45 pistol whose serial number is 25094705, in contravention of section 34(1) of the Firearms Act.
The minor is currently held at Homa Bay Police Station while the gun is in safe custody at Rangwe Police Station.
Homa Bay OCPD Esau Ochorokodi told journalists that the student was pointing the firearm at his colleagues before the school administration was alerted.
Mr Ochorokodi said the student at first denied he was in possession of the gun but, after a two-hour interrogation by police, he led the officers to the bush where he had hidden the weapon.
“The student hid the weapon outside the dormitory and he would only retrieve it when he wanted to coerce his colleagues to submit to his demands,” said Mr Ochorokodi.
Upon examination of the pistol, the officers found that it is rarely used in the country, prompting questions on how the student obtained it.
The investigators told the Nation that the pistol is an American type.
The student revealed to the investigators that he had obtained the firearm from a relative who lived in the United States but is now a director at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University.
However, an investigative report presented to court and seen by the Nation revealed that the student took the gun from a safe in the said relative’s home in Siaya County.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations officers have summoned the student’s parents and the relative who is said to be the owner of the gun.
The gun was not loaded with bullets but its discovery threw both the school administration and students into panic.
Dickens Bula, the school principal, said they received a report from students who claimed that the student had been threatening to shoot them with the gun.
It is said the student was using the gun to extort money and foodstuffs from fellow students.
The Homa Bay police chief said they are also investigating how the student managed to get into the school with the firearm despite checks at the gate during the opening of the school.
“We are investigating how the student managed to beat the school security checks and get into the school with the firearm,” said Mr Ochorokodi.
He cautioned parents with firearms at home to keep their weapons safe.
“All weapons at home should be kept in safe custody,” he said.
Just last week, police gunned down a Form Four student, Stephen Macharia, 18, together with six others, at Makutano township in Kirinyaga
The student of Twilight Secondary School is said to have been involved in a number of criminal activities in the area and, on the day the gang was eliminated, they were planning to stage a robbery, police said.
Even though his parents denied that their son was involved in crime, police said he was a known member of the dreaded Gaza gang in Kayole, Nairobi.
Detectives also linked the seven to the killing of two police officers in Githunguri last month and several robberies in Nyeri, Murang’a and Kirinyaga counties.
They were said to be members of a gang that was led by Michael Mwaniki, who was killed by police alongside another suspected gangster last month. Mwaniki was described by police as a notorious criminal.
Police alleged that they had recovered two homemade guns, a pistol and seven rounds of ammunition from the car used by the seven.