Khalwale : 14 dead Kakamega primary pupils were sacrificed by devil worshipers

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Kakamega

By Wilson Abiri

  • Ten people fainted during the requiem mass
  • Khalwale said the pupils were offered as a sacrifice to devil worshipers
  • Khalwale want churches with questionable integrity holding meetings at the school banned
  • Wetang’ula calls for an inquest into the deaths of the pupils
  • National government to give bereaved families Sh150,000 each as compensation

There was grief and sorrow at Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega town during the requiem mass for the 14 pupils of Kakamega primary school who died on Monday following a stampede.

Tears was flowing freely as grieving parents and relatives could not believe that they were seeing their children for the last time after death cut short their future ambitions.

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi (left), Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula viewing the bodies of the 14 pupils of Kakamega primary school who died on monday following a stampede-Photo/Wilson Abiri/County Splash

Friends and families of the victims could not control their emotions and things get worse when hearses carrying the bodies of the 13 pupils snaked through Bukhungu stadium. Nailah Kiverenge, one of the victims was buried on Wednesday according to the Islamic rights.

Others are Antonatte Khayumba, Simon Waweru, Samuel Simekha, Lavenda Akasa, June Nakhumicha, Joseph Mutsami and Bertha Munywele, Prudence Eliza, Catherine Aloo, Prince Vermaline, Nichole Achola, Venesa Andeso, Fidel Kumbetie.

 Ten people fainted upon seeing the remains of their loved ones while others was a result of standing in the hot sun for long. They were assisted by first aiders from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (Mmust), Kenya Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance.

Pall bearers carrying a casket containing the remains of one of the pupil who died following a stampede at Kakamega primary school on Monday -Photo/Wilson Abiri/County Splash

Rev Benson Shishia of Church of God and Rev James Mwaura of ACK Maseno North Diocese presided over the service. They were helped by religious leaders from varied denominations.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya asked religious to pray for the county since it has experienced calamities that has claimed lives of many people.

Oparanya said the county lost 8 people at an accident at Iguhu river in September 2014, who were transporting home for burial a dead relative, 8 students who died in 2015 during a terrorist at Garissa university, 31 people in fort Tenan accident and then Kakamega primary tragedy.

However, leaders who spoke during the requiem mass asked the government to form a commission of inquiry to investigate what caused the stampede leading to the death of the 14 fallen angels.

Kakamega primary school headteacher Dickson Wanyangu (centre) at Bukhungu stadium -Photo/Wilson Abiri/County Splash

Former Kakamega Senator, Bonnie Khalwale told off police officers investigating the stampede that they may not find the truth as the pupils may have been offered as a ‘sacrifice’ and pointed an accusing fingers to churches of questionable integrity that normally hold their Sunday services at Kakamega primary school.

“We have many churches that hold their services at Kakamega primary school and their integrity is questionable. We also want the leaders of a certain church in Kakamega town since two years ago, they were accused twice ‘sacrificing’ young children,” said Khalwale.

Khalwale said he examined the 14 children while in the hospital and no one was bleeding, had pale eyes and an emaciated body, a clear indication ‘that blood had been drained from them’.

“We have many churches that hold their services at Kakamega primary school and their integrity is questionable. We also want the leaders of a certain church in Kakamega town since two years ago, they were accused twice ‘sacrificing’ young children,” he said.

Diana Atamba (centre), Fidel Kumbuti’s mother being consoled upon seeing the remains of her son. The husband, Justus,died of thraot cancer in 2011 when Fidel was two years old and was the only child they had together -Photo/Wilson Abiri/County Splash

“The issue at hand right now is more complex that cannot be handled by the police and be concluded in two days. The police should sit back and allow a commission of inquiry to do its work,” added Khalwale.

He said the commission of inquiry should be headed by a magistrate or a judge of the high court who will investigate the matter, saying pupils, teachers and parents will be invited to give their testimonies on what they know to have caused the stampede.

Khalwale said the storey building that claimed the lives of the 14 children was functionally defective because its staircases no guard rails and a ramp that the children can hold unto while passing by.

A relative of the 14 dead pupils crying

Ford Kenya party leader Moses Wetang’ula insisted that a thorough inquest to be carried out by a magistrate of a senior rank to find out if there are human force culpable to the cause of the 14 deaths.

Wetang’ula said the post mortem report that said the children lost their lives due to suffocation is not convincing and demanded the cause of the suffocation to be made known to the public.

“We want a commission of inquiry order by the director of public prosecutions, that will investigate the matter and those found culpable be prosecuted and charged with manslaughter,” said Wetang’ula.

Wetang’ula blamed the Ministry of Education for the tragedy terming it a result of gross negligence by the education officials of not putting in place security and safety measures for learners when in school.

“We want a commission of inquiry order by the director of public prosecutions, that will investigate the matter and those found culpable be prosecuted and charged with manslaughter,” said Wetang’ula.

 “I believe that teachers should always hold hands of their students and always ensure there’s order when they are entering and exiting their classes, they are not cattle to be left jumping out and down into the cattle dips,” said Wetang’ula.

A section of mourners at Bukhungu stadium

His sentiments were echoed by Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi who said it’s only a commission of inquiry that will unearth what caused the stampede.

According to Mudavadi, it was not possible for young children to die like dogs and yet the storey building that houses them has not collapsed.

“We want the government to do a thorough audit of all buildings in our public primary and secondary schools as well as buildings in other public institutions. This is because we have government officers who approve structural plans in exchange of quick money and putting the lives of Kenyans at risk,” said Mudavadi.

Muranga Governor Mwangi Wa Iria recommended for inclusion of a debate on safety of children in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report as pupils they are the biggest bridges to build a cohesive generation.

He recommended for creation of children commission that will tackle the matters of child labour, early child marriages and child molestation.

Governor Wangamati called for full devolution of the education docket so that the mandate of improving infrastructure in public schools is done by county governments. “It does not make any sense to get infrastructure of the primary and secondary schools being done by the national government.”

Mmust acting VC Prof Asenath Sigot (left) and Knut boss Wilson Sossion at Bukhungu stadium

Kenya union of teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion blamed the Ministry of Education for negligence in ensuring safety and security measures in schools through their quality assurance officers.

“The ministry has a quality assurance committee that are lazy, they are not doing their work effectively by inspecting each and every school,” said Sossion.

Sossion said that the Ministry of Education have failed in ensuring that the quality assurance officers visit schools to inspect their infrastructure as per the capacity that a school holds.

He further demanded for intrinsic investigative report from the public works, public health and from quality assurance inspection through the ministry of education.

Sossion threated to crusade a close down of all schools if all those reports are not issued. He also called for the close down of all unlicensed schools in the republic.

A casket being carried away from a hease by pall bearers

His counterpart in KUPPET Omboko Milemba asked the CS Education to convene a meeting on safety and security matters in schools since there are no safety guideline measures in the schools.

Milemba recommended for the creation of safety and security dockets at school levels that will have its own prefects to man.

He added that the ministry’s effort of closing down of schools is not enough to solving the issues of tragedy in schools.

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said each family will get Sh150,000 as compensation from the national government. The Council of Governors gave them Sh143,000 each.

Ends

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