By Cyprine Awiti Otieno
“This day was never in our school calendar. It is a day I would rather not have…”
This was part of a speech, given by the principal of Moi Girls’ High School–Nairobi, Jael Mureithi, as she addressed mourners at a requiem service for nine girls who lost their lives in a dorm fire of Saturday September 2, 2017.
Students, parents and relatives, teachers, workers, officials from the Ministry of Education, friends and well wishers could not hold back their tears more so, when one reflected on the circumstances that led to the deaths.
A 14 year-old student has since been accused of starting the fire that burnt fellow students to death and has been charged with nine counts of murder.
She was arraigned in court, where she denied the charges and was freed on a Ksh 200,000 cash bail. The media was barred from covering the court proceedings in the interest of the girl’s rights as a minor.
As a counselor, my heart went out to that particular student too. Why did she do it? What was her issue, and how many other students had mooted similar actions?
This was not the first school to report a fire incident, many other fire incidents have since been reported in other schools in the country and this begs the question, “Why?”