Njuri Ncheke elders invoke curses over arson in schools

Sunday July 22 2018

Njuri Ncheke, dorm fires

Njuri Ncheke elders from Karama, Tigania East conduct a ritual to invoke a curse on people behind burning of schools on July 21, 2018. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Njuri Ncheke elders in Tigania East, Meru, have resorted to invoking curses to contain rising cases of arson in schools and students’ unrest.

Tigania East Njuri Ncheke chairman Mucheke Thinkii said the traditional ritual was the last resort to end the wave of unrest sweeping across the country.

The elders held three-day rituals that culminated in the roasting of a whole sheep in an open air market in Karama.

During the ceremony, the elders slaughtered a sheep whose mutton they tossed into a fire and then went round the blaze chanting.

The elders’ action was sparked by unrest that hit Mukuiru, Luuma and Karama secondary schools.

“We are here to curse anyone behind the burning of our schools. We feel that students may not be the only ones behind the school fires. Anyone inciting students will face the wrath of the curse. This ritual will serve as a warning to anyone planning to cause unrest in our schools,” Mr Thinkii said.

The Njuri Ncheke chairman also called on the government to reinstate caning in schools, saying the ban had led to indiscipline among students.

“The government should allow caning in school even if it has to be done by the parents. Disciplining the youth through talk is not helping,” he said.

More than 10 schools have been affected by fires and student unrest in Meru County. Over 50 students have been arrested over the fire incidents.

But Meru County Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga said fire incidents have been contained after teachers improved their surveillance and partnership with security officers.