With the surge in arson cases in school, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has proposed a tougher punishment for students behind the burning of key infrastructures in schools across the country.
Speaking during the burial of Agnetta Ayuma Bukaya on Saturday, November 6, the kakamega county boss pointed out that those found guilty should serve a minimum sentence of 60 years in order to serve as a lesson to others.
“What I know is that there won’t be government funds that will go to repairing the schools. We as parents should warn our kids not to commit such atrocities.”
“I instruct the magistrate that if they find any student guilty, he or she should be jailed for 60 years and they get out when they are older. This is to serve as a lesson to others,” he stated.
In response to his statement, Former Law Society of Kenya Chief Executive Officer Apollo Mboya pointed out that there are laws put in place for such matters.
“Before a politician recommends a jail term, he must know that there are laws in the republic, there has to be investigations. The culprit has to be taken to court. Based on the evidence, the court then makes it pronouncement on that particular issue.”
“So a politician doesn’t have the right to say what needs to happen when a culprit is found culpable as the law is already there. It’s very wrong for a politician to talk about it as we know that there are some students who are already in court and have been charged,” he stated.
He pointed out that should be policy directions from the Ministry of Education which monitors infrastructure in various schools which inspects fire escape routes, fire extinguishers and other measures.
“The Ministry ought to know that this year has posed a great challenge to parents. In fact the last term, they had a break for ten days and resumed classes. There is also a lot of pressure in regards to exams and those kind of issues.”
“If the students are to be detained, there are approved juvenile detentions and there are laws which handle the question of juveniles who are in conflict with the law,” he pointed out.
Currently, more than 35 fire incidents have been reported in learning institutions countrywide and in some cases, students left nursing injuries