Five high school students are staring at long jail terms should the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) bring arson charges against them.
On Tuesday, November 30, the National Police Service stated that the five students from Masaani Girls’ Secondary School were arrested by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in connection with a fire incident at the school.
Detectives in Machakos county arrested the five students after a fire incident that gutted down a dormitory at the school on November 5, 2021.
The five were arrested following investigations by DCI Machakos and police suspect they were involved in setting ablaze a dormitory at the institution.
Further, the cops stated that property worth Ksh4 million was destroyed by the inferno. The National Police Service also asked parents to talk to their children noting that acts of crime will not be tolerated.
“They will be charged in court for Arson and related offences. It is worth noting that contrary to some myths and believes, being a student does not absolve one from criminal responsibility.”
“Arson is a serious offence and is punishable by life imprisonment. We ask parents and teachers to continuously remind students of the wages of every act of criminality,” the statement read in part.
NPS said it will take tough action against the perpetrators and their accomplices. They suspect that vendors of petroleum products and other flammables are connected to fire incidences in schools.
“We urge our officers to ensure fire incidences in schools are expeditiously investigated and culprits charged promptly,” the statement added.
Elsewhere in Butula, Busia County police arrested four students in connection to an alleged arson incident.
The four Bunjumba Girls Secondary School students are set to be arraigned.
On November 8, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha threatened that students linked to fire incidents will be blocked from joining public universities.
Speaking during a tour of schools in Machakos County the CS noted that the directive would help curb indiscipline cases in schools.
He further stated that torching school premises was primitive noting that schools would not be shut down due to torching incidents across the country. Nonetheless, the Ministry of Education later bowed to pressure, handing schools a mid-term break from November 19 to November 23 in a bid to tame the situation that was getting out of hand.