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State seeks 14 days to detain owner of Precious Talents Top Academy 

Six died at a local Catholic dispensary where they had been rushed for treatment, while the seventh body was pulled out of the rubble/COURTESY – St John Ambulance

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – State prosecutors on Friday sought 14 days to detain the owner of Precious Talents Top Academy who is under investigation following the collapse of a building at the Dagoretti-based school that left eight pupils dead.

They told a Nairobi magistrate court more time was needed to conclude a probe on Moses Wainaina’s probable negligence that led to the loss of life at the institution.

An investigation officer also told the court Wainaina’s could be in danger if he was released on bail due to public anger following reports that the building which collapsed on Monday fell short of required contraction standards.

“The burden in on us to give compelling reasons as to why the state would be given 14 days. Therefore, we are saying there is real danger that the respondent might interfere with the prospective witnesses which will not give a legitimate conclusion in terms of investigation,” the prosecutor said.

“Our prospective witnesses include young children who are known to him, parents, gordians and neighbors.”

Defence counsel however objected to the application by the prosecution saying their client faces no danger adding that his life had not been threatened for the four days he was free following the school tragedy.

The lawyer said his client who presented himself to police on Thursday honored summons without any objection.

“Why haven’t you found this court that the accused person has been free four days, in the same homestead, the same environment and nothing has so far happened. Are you confirming to this court that he had no danger in those four day, when did the risk occur and have you interviewed any member of the public in the area?” he questioned.

Wainaina is accused of declaring misleading information while seeking a school registration certificate from the Ministry of Education which has since deregistered the school.

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Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha has already announced closure of three more schools after revoking licenses and ordered relocation of more than 900 learners to nearby public schools.

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang upscaled the measures on Friday by ordering the immediate closure of all unregistered schools and the withdrawal of registration certificates for institutions flouting safety regulations.

“Schools that are not registered with the Ministry of Education to be closed and learners placed in public schools. All schools’ infrastructure standards that have deteriorated and/or altered since registration should have their registration certificate withdrawn and schools closed immediately,” Kipsang directed.

“Schools that have changed their status to be reassessed for re-registration immediately. This includes schools that increased the enrollment.”

Deputy President William Ruto had while visiting pupils who survived the Monday tragedy asked the Ministry of Education to forthwith commence a thorough inspection of schools especially in informal areas and ensure compliance to safety regulations.

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