Two students from Milimani Secondary School, near State House Nairobi, were arrested over the weekend in connection with a third fire incident there.
The fire destroyed a dormitory and took nearly an hour to extinguish. According to police, the students were caught on CCTV footage staging the arson, which led to their arrest.
This was the third such incident at the school. On January 7 and 9, the students attempted but failed to burn down the dormitory. The school administration thwarted their plans.
Up to eight beds were burned down in the incident on January 9 before the fire was put out. Six students were then detained and arraigned.
On January 29, around 6 p.m., a fire broke out, destroying the students’ valuables. Although no injuries were reported, students claimed they had lost property and valuables as a result of the incident.
The county government dispatched a fire engine, which was able to keep the fire from spreading further.
After learning about the fire, some parents arrived at the school. Despite the destruction, they were informed that everything was fine.
It is the most recent in a string of fires that have struck more than 100 schools across the country in the last four months.
The motivation for the new wave is unknown, as such incidents are common in schools as final exams approach.
As part of his efforts to address the problem, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha proposed that teachers and prefects on duty be held responsible for school fires.
Prof Magoha stated that in a number of fires reported across the country, teachers have reported that they do not know what caused the fires, despite the fact that they are in charge of the day-to-day operations of the institutions.
He advised teachers to ensure that dormitories are inspected and locked every morning and that students’ movements are tracked.
The CS advised students to maintain their discipline and warned that investigations would reveal the identities of those responsible for the fires.
Their information, he added, will be stored in a database that can be used against them throughout their careers.
Magoha stated that it was time to have a national conversation about corporal punishment and urged parents to be more concerned about their children.