Court Allows Police to Keep Maranda High School Students

Court Allows Police to Keep Maranda High School Students

The police have been granted permission to hold three Maranda High school students for two more days over the burning of the education institution.

The police were allowed to hold the three students by the court in an application by the Directorate of Police Investigations (DCI).

The three Form 2 students were arrested by the police following a fire incident reported at the school Sunday morning.

They will be held at Bondo police station as investigations into the incident continue.

Siaya county criminal Investigations officer Kennedy Njeru on Monday say that they will summon more people from the institution, including teachers, for interrogation as the probe to unmask those behind the fires picks momentum.

Within a month, Maranda High School has been closed indefinitely on two occasions and students sent home over fire incidents. 

The school was first closed on November 8 following a fire that razed down one of the dormitories used by Form 4s. The school was ordered closed again on Sunday after another fire. 

The established that detectives probing the latest incident on Sunday, December 5th, 2021 summoned four lab technicians for questioning.

Preliminary findings show the matchbox used by the arsonists to set the two-storey dormitory on fire on Sunday was obtained from one of the school’s laboratories.

Those who will be appearing before the detectives for investigations include the two deputy principals and all heads of department.

The head of the physical science department was expected before the sleuths on Monday. He is also incharge of the labs.

Written confessions of the suspects seen by the Star details how the arson was plotted on Saturday and executed Sunday morning when students were taking the 10 o’clock tea.

In the confessions, a student who is among those being held by the police said they discussed their plot on Saturday during lunch break.

He claims to have been forced into the act by two of his colleagues through threats. He was tasked to steal a mattress that would be used to lit up the fire at Boaz Owino hostel that was their target.

“I did as per the instructions because I was afraid of being harmed,” his confession note said. 

At the dead of the night, when other students were asleep, he laid the stolen mattress on the building’s ceiling. That was Saturday night. And at around 2.30 am, one of his accomplices, he recounts in his confession, visited his cubicle. They sneaked back to where the mattress was and tried to light it up, six times in vain. 

They then aborted the mission and quickly sneaked back to their dorm unnoticed. They agreed to complete the mission Sunday morning. The one who confessed to have lit the fire said he was a drug addict.

“I wanted to get out of this school so that I can go home and use the drug there. I am the one who set it ablaze. I was with my other colleague. I then locked the door using a padlock before rushing back to serve tea,” reads his confession.

The 10am fire razed the top floor of the two-storey Boaz Owino hostel  used by Form 2 students.

Nothing was salvaged from the affected floor, according to Siaya county director of education Nelson Sifuna. He said the fire destroyed property belonging to 200 students.

Sifuna said the school was yet to quantify the extent of the damage.

“We resolved to send the students home to ease the anxiety and tension among them,” he said.