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Kenyan politician recommends 60-year jail term for students burning schools

November 09, 2021

By Samuel Ouma [caption id="attachment_90580" align="alignnone" width="800"] Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. Photo courtesy[/caption] Kenyan Governor Wycliffe Oparanya wants students found guilty of arson attacks in schools jailed for a period not less than 60 years. The Kakamega Governor reactions came hours after another school was set ablaze on Sunday night. A dormitory housing 200 students at Maranda High School in the defunct Nyanza province was allegedly burnt by unknown students on the fateful night. The inferno erupted when students were attending evening preps. A police report indicates that no casualty was reported. “I advise magistrates if you find cases of children burning schools, jail them for sixty years. So that they come out of jail when old. Because we need discipline in this country. You can not have a country where people do whatever they want," said the Governor. Maranda High School has been closed indefinitely, and six students were arrested, who were linked to the inferno, awaiting arraignment. “It is true six students are being held following preliminary investigations. More students could be arrested too, we wait for the investigations,” confirmed the local authorities. Another dormitory at Mwala Girls Secondary school in the Eastern part of the country went up in flames on Monday morning, raising questions on what is going on in schools. On Saturday, a similar incident was reported at Kakamega High School, western Kenya. In recent weeks, other schools that have burned down include Chavakali Boys High School (Western) County and Kanjuri High School (central). Calls to close schools to prevent the problem from spreading to other parts of the country were dismissed by the Education Cabinet Secretary  Prof. George Magoha. Instead, he ordered primary and secondary schools to break for mid-term from November 19-23. “It is primitive and must stop. If it does not stop, do not think you are going to force us to close schools. We are not closing any schools. If you are not studying, it is up to you. The examinations are ready and in March you will take them by the grace of God,” stated Prof. Magoha. The tough-talking Magoha noted parents will bear the burden of paying for the damages caused by their children. Anyone trying to burn down the facility should be aware that they will not be able to attend any other public school in the country if caught. You will return, and we will make sure that your parents contribute to the rebuilding of what you have destroyed,” added Magoha.

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