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No one culpable in Kakamega school stampede, DPP says

Mutua said that people who recorded statements did not directly witness what occurred.

In Summary
  • Postmortem reports indicate the deaths were caused by asphyxia, respiratory failure related to the stampede.
  • But some of the parents who lost their children to the panic flight are dissatisfied with the verdict.
Parents outside the emergency department at the Kakamega County Referral Hospital
DISTRAUGHT: Parents outside the emergency department at the Kakamega County Referral Hospital
Image: HILTON OTENYO

The Director of Public Prosecutions has directed that investigations into the cause of the stampede that claimed 15 lives at Kakamega Primary School be conducted through a public inquest.

Prosecution counsel Erick Mutua said in a report on the file forwarded for direction by the Western DCI office that the matter be placed before a magistrate under Section 386 of the Criminal Procedure Code for formal closure by way of a public inquest.

“I find that there is no clear criminal act that has been committed that is evident. No persons have been mentioned in connection with the stampede as well. This was an unfortunate event and innocent children lost their lives,” he said.

 

He said that people who recorded statements did not directly witness what occurred. 

Mutua said they were teachers who rushed to the rescue upon an alarm having been sounded, pupils caught in the stampede unawares and parents who as well came after the fact.

He said some of 11 witnesses stated that during or before the stampede un-identified boys whose number varies from two to four were seen blocking the stairway, while some said they were mopping the staircase.

“None of the above mentioned witnesses identified these boys by name, physical description or winch particular class they belonged to,” Mutua said.

Postmortem reports indicate the deaths were caused by asphyxia, respiratory failure related to the stampede.

Two medical reports showed that the victims of the stampede suffered blunt trauma injuries from the stampede.

A preliminary report by Western regional coordinator Ann Ng’etich dated February 14 on the state of classrooms at the school at the time of the stampede did not indicate that the incident was linked in any way to the failure of the structures.

 

But some of the parents who lost their children to the panic flight are dissatisfied by the verdict.

Lavender Andeso said it was unrealistic that the pupils could just end up in a stampede without any provocation. 

Ibrahim Kiberenge, another parent, said that justice had not been served on them.

During the stampede, 38 other pupils sustained injuries.

Education CS George Magoha has visited the school more than four time since the incident occurred on February 3.

Police had recommended that there be  public inquest to determine the cause of the stampede. They said that they found no one criminally culpable.

Edited by Henry Makori