A section of legislators Wednesday called for the arrest of the proprietor of Nairobi’s Precious Talents Top School following Monday’s tragedy that led to the death of eight pupils.
The legislators wondered why the proprietor, Mr Moses Wainaina, was still a free man in the wake of the tragedy that also left scores of pupils injured.
While the matter is under probe by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, angry senators dismissed this and challenged the national government to act quickly, while accusing him of having placed his greed for profit ahead of the safety of children.
“Mr Wainaina is a greedy individual and action should be taken against him. He is the type of businessman who unscrupulously invests and uses the proceeds to seek protection,” Laikipia Senator John Kinyua said.
Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki further ordered the Committee on Education to summon Education CS George Magoha and other senior policy experts to explain the facts behind the tragedy. Prof Kindiki declared that the death of the pupils was a national tragedy and ordered the committee, chaired by Bomet Senator Christopher Langat, to explore possible civil liability and criminal negligence on the part of the owners. “The death of the pupils is not a small matter because losing one pupil is a big number and should never be allowed to happen,” Prof Kindiki said.
On Wednesday, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko also swung into action following the tragedy and suspended some of his key officers in the planning department, including his Finance executive Charles Kerich, to pave way for investigations.
Mr Kerich is the former executive for Lands and Urban Planning. Also suspended is Mr Mohammed Dagane, who is the executive for Health.
He is responsible for public health and safety. Meanwhile, Prof Magoha has ordered a countrywide inspection of all schools and closed down St Catherine Bombolulu Primary School in Kibra Constituency. The CS said all schools must ensure their infrastructure comply with set standards.
“I have directed that quality assurance and standards officers ensure non-compliant schools are closed down,” said Prof Magoha during a tour to inspect school structures in Kibra.
He said the Ministry of Education did not approve the school’s buildings.
“I have been to every floor of the school structures and there is no difference from the structure in the school that collapsed on Monday,” said Prof Magoha.
He said the government was concerned about the welfare of children and directed that the 207 pupils in that school be moved to Ayany Estate Primary School. Prof Magoha said the community should understand that the government is acting in the best interest of the children.
“We will do these inspections with a human face, but we will enforce the law once a school is found unsuitable,” said Prof Magoha.
The CS said the ministry would give the way forward on Precious Talents Top School by next Monday.
Separately, a community centre offered pupils of the collapsed school post-trauma counselling.
Both pupils and parents who suffered loss and trauma were counselled at Tazama Nia Community Centre located near the school.
Dozens of children also received tuition classes from teachers and volunteers as they await reconstruction and reopening of their school.
Speaking yesterday at the community centre, Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie said that efforts were being made to reopen the school as soon as possible.
“We are hoping and praying that, God willing, Precious Talents will be opened so that our children can go back to performing well,” he said.
Mr Kiarie was accompanied by other leaders, including Tindaret MP Julius Melly, Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba and Kuppet vice chairman Julius Korir.
Additional reporting by Faith Nyamai, Claire Wasilwa and Sarah Nanjala