, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – Eight students from Sunshine Secondary School in Nairobi are being detained at Lang’ata Police station after they were arrested Friday night for attempting to burn their dormitory.
Lang’ata police chief Elijah Maina said that the students are under investigations and “are likely to face charges on Monday.”
Police have intensified a crackdown on arson cases in schools after President Uhuru Kenyatta warned students against burning schools and destroying property as the number of institutions affected hit 100.
The Head of State said action will be taken on anyone found engaging in such activities because it is affecting the education sector.
Police reports show 99 students and five teachers have been charged in the past three months for engaging in arson attacks reported in almost all counties.
Principals and school heads were also given the leeway to shut down institutions should they detect arson plans so as to avert a crisis that puts lives at risk.
The directive was issued by Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe following increased arson cases in public schools with the latest being Riosiri Mixed Secondary School in Gucha South sub-county where a dormitory was burnt.
He however stated that there will be no blanket closure of schools as many were not affected by the arson incidences and were working hard to prepare their students for exams.
Police have also warned against sale of fuel to children.
In Homa Bay, County Commissioner Farah Maalim stated that school principals and teachers will be held liable in case of a fire outbreak in their schools and pointed out that the arm of the law will not only target suspected students in case of an inferno in the school.
His Kisumu County counterpart John Elungata has organised an educational stakeholders meeting next week to ventilate on the schools unrest.