7 schoolgirls in court for attempt to burn school

Monday November 5 2012

By SAMUEL KARANJA [email protected]

Seven Mugoiri girls high school students were on Monday arraigned in a Murang’a Court for attempting to burn down school buildings and being in possession of flammable substances.

The six form one girls and one form three student appeared before Senior principal magistrate Elizabeth Osoro and denied the charges following the Sunday night incident.

The court heard that the accused were caught with a jerrican containing diesel and match boxes and were planning to burn down school buildings.

They were nabbed by the school deputy principal at night following the unrest at the school located in Kahuro district.

Chief inspector of police Juma Kasongo told the court that the school's administration handed the group over to the police at Kahuro police station.

The court ordered an assessment be carried out to determine how old they are.

Lawyer Ben Mwangi, acting for the accused students, pleaded with the court to release them on bail, adding they were already sitting for their end year examinations.

He also objected to a plea by the prosecution to have the students spend a week in police custody as they awaited the age assessment.

They were released on a Sh100, 000 bond each and a surety of similar amount or an alternative cash bail of Sh50, 000 each. In default, they would be remanded at the Murang’a juvenile remand home.

The court also ordered that they report to Kahuro police station for the age assessment exercise. Their case will be heard on December 18 and mentioned on November 19.

Curious parents and teachers who had thronged the court were shocked after the magistrate made the ruling.

The students appeared in court in the wake of unrest in several schools in the area.

Students from Gatanga girls went on the rampage last week destroying school property, while those from Njiris High school in Kigumo went on strike on Saturday.

Other schools which have suffered the same fate on the weekend include Njumbi, Kiangunyi, Nginda, Makuyu girls and Makuyu boys, Kiangunyi girls and Murang’a High.

The strike at Murang’a High School was contained after police intervened on Sunday night.

In Mugoiri Girls, one cubical was destroyed during a fire incident suspected to be started by the students.

At Njumbi High school property worth thousands of shillings was destroyed after the students broke all the window panes in the school buildings.