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Kakamega stampede: police file handed to DPP

Wednesday April 15 2020

Kakamega Primary cleansing ceremony

Parents and pupils of Kakamega Primary School during a cleansing ceremony, following the deaths of learners in a stampede, on February 10, 2020. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

BENSON AMADALA
By BENSON AMADALA
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Findings from a police investigation into the stampede that claimed the lives of 15 pupils at Kakamega Primary School have been handed over to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for direction.

According to Western Region Criminal Investigation Officer, Shem Nyamboki, the DPP is yet to communicate on the next cause of action.

The pupils who died in the February 3, 2020 tragic incident that shocked the nation were from Grade Four and Five.

Mr Nyamboki said the DCI was waiting for the way forward from the DPP before proceeding to act.

“As soon as the DPP gives the recommendations on the next course of action, we will have them implemented. At the moment, we are waiting,” he said.

Detectives recorded statements from 46 pupils, 16 teachers and several other witnesses.

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The police had indicated that 15 pupils who sustained injuries in the incident would be issued with P3 Forms to be duly filled by doctors.

Parents affected by the tragedy have been pushing the Ministry of Education to make public the findings of the probe.

Chairperson of the Commission on Administrative Justice Florence Kajuju visited the school with her team and faulted the manner in which the staircases on both ends of the storey building were constructed.

She said the commission will push for the affected parents to be fully compensated for the deaths of their children.

Ms Kajuju had blamed the Ministry of Education for the tragic incident, saying the building had two narrow staircases which could have contributed to the stampede as the classrooms on the third floor of the building had 540 pupils.

She said the classrooms were congested.

“The Ministry of Education is not following up to ensure expansion of the infrastructure and teachers in learning institution to match the number of learners. The stairways on the two sides of the building are narrow and have no rails,” she added.

The CAJ, known as the Office of the Ombudsman, has the mandate to investigate complaints of delays, abuse of power, unfair treatment, manifest injustice or discourtesy to tackle maladministration in the public sector.

Ms Kajuju noted that the investigation reports will determine long and short-term solutions on the status of the building.

“There should be a staircase for boys, another one for girls and a third one for the teachers to reduce commotion in the building,” recommended Ms Kajuju.

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