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Three students charged over riots

NAIROBI, July 23 – Three students from Lavern Secondary School in Kasarani were on Wednesday charged before the Makadara Law Courts to answer charges of preparing to commit a felony.

The students appeared before Makadara Magistrate where they denied the charges and were released on a cash bail of Sh10,000.

The Form One and Two students spent the night at the Kasarani police station after they were arrested on Tuesday evening allegedly attempted to torch their school.

Kasarani Police Boss Jasper Ombati told Capital News that his officers were called to the school where they found students rioting.

“They had purchased about four litres of petrol which they intended to use; we moved in and arrested three of students who were behind the scheme,” Ombati said.

Nearly 100 students have been arraigned in courts in the last week over their involvement in the destruction of school property. Over 300 schools have been closed in the wave of student unrest that has engulfed the country since May.

Property worth millions of shillings has been destroyed as students set dormitories and other buildings on fire. One student was killed and another badly injured at the Upper Hill School when striking students set their dorm on fire Saturday morning.

Students have boycotted Mock exams and expressed their displeasure with the way their schools are handling their welfare. Some of the issues raised include: bad food, difficult exams and unfair punishment.

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Other complaints include lack of school canteens, special uniforms and meals for prefects and no entertainment.

In a bid to curb the chaos Education Minister Sam Ongeri on Tuesday ordered that all those found to have engaged in destruction of school property be lined up for legal action.

He also moved in to curtail the entertainment privileges of students by invoking a ban on use of Mobile phones and purchase of buses with music systems.

However despite the measures yet another school, Nairobi School was indefinitely closed on Tuesday morning after students boycotted classes.

Ongeri’s measures were immediately criticized by parliamentarians for failing to outline clear cut actions on the obvious causes of the unrest such as drugs, indiscipline and school mismanagement.

Following the criticism House Speaker Kenneth Marende ordered the Parliamentary Committee on Education to carry out an independent inquiry and present its report in 21 days.

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