A secondary school in Kisumu County has come to the rescue of students from Bungoma County who were stranded in the Lakeside town after their bus was impounded by a local businessman over unpaid dues.
The 58 learners and four teachers of Misikhu Friends Boys High School were staring at spending the second night in unfamiliar territory on Thursday when Kisumu Boys High School intervened.
The school offered a bus to take them back to their institution after the businessman, Mr Nilesh Patel, declined to release theirs.
The students and teachers were on a geography study tour in Kisumu on Wednesday when Mr Patel seized the bus saying the school owed him Sh1.6 million.
The driver of the bus is reported to have left the learners at Impala Park and drove to Nilam Garage when the businessman impounded the bus.
Speaking to the Nation by phone on Friday, Mr Patel vowed to continue holding the bus until the school settles the debt they owe him.
He said efforts to reach the school over the matter have been futile as the principal, board chairman and the bursar declined to pick his calls and did not respond to his text messages.
"The vehicle is still here and we will not release it until we get communication from the school,” said the businessman.
He went on: “Until now the principal, bursar and chairman have not responded to my call and messages. They could have called us so that we negotiate about it."
SLEPT IN DINING HALL
After the driver failed to return for them, the students walked to Kisumu Boys High School where they spent Wednesday night in the dining hall while their teachers looked for accommodation in the town.
They complained of exhaustion and hunger.
Kisumu Boys High School Principal Peter Obwogo said the students left his school after spending one night there.
He said only his Misikhu Friends Boys High School counterpart, Mr Maurice Otunga, could explain why his students were stranded in Kisumu.
When reached for comment over the matter, Mr Otunga confirmed that the students and teachers had returned to school but declined to divulge further information, saying the matter is in court.
"The students came back on Thursday at about 4pm in Kisumu Boys High School bus. This matter is before court so I cannot comment further on it,” said Mr Otunga.
Mr Patel said that he has all documents showing that he repaired the bus and that it was picked by the school principal.
"The bus was in very bad shape. It took us one and a half months to repair it and all the documents are there to show that,” he said.
Nyanza Regional Education Director Richard Chepkawai said he was not aware that the students were stranded in Kisumu as he was away in Kisii County on official duty.
His western region counterpart Nereah Olick was non-committal on the matter.