Controversy rages as guardians of student who died in Murang’a school speak out


The swimming pool at Elite Secondary School in Murang'a. PHOTO| COURTESY
The swimming pool at Elite Secondary School in Murang'a. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • Guardians of the orphan who drowned during an inter-school swimming competition at Elite Secondary School in Kiharu, Murang’a County have expressed their dissatisfaction with the explanation given by St. Paul’s Gathukiini Boys Secondary School management where the boy was schooling.
  • Kelvin Kariuki Wanjiru, a Form 3 student drowned on Friday as the competitions were ongoing but his body remained in the water unnoticed until two hours after the games were over.
  • Drama was witnessed at Elite School on Saturday after journalists and the DCC were kicked out of the institution by the management after they arrived at the school to seek what led to Kelvin’s death.

Guardians of the Form 3 student who drowned during an inter-school swimming competition at Elite Secondary School in Kiharu, Murang’a County have expressed their dissatisfaction with the explanation given by St. Paul’s Gathukiini Boys Secondary School management where the boy was schooling.

Kelvin Kariuki Wanjiru, who was an orphan, drowned on Friday as competitions were ongoing but his body remained in the water unnoticed until two hours after the games were over.

According to the Deputy County Commissioner, Kephur Marube, the body of the student from St. Paul’s Gathukuini was discovered by the swimming pool attendant at 5pm during a cleanup of the facility.

The deceased’s guardians, Patrick Macharia and Eva Njeri Kariuki (uncle and aunt of the deceased) arrived at Gathukiini Secondary School at midday on Saturday where they found the entire school board of management waiting for them to break the bad news.

Patrick Macharia and Eva Njeri Kariuki. PHOTO| VICTOR KINUTHIA

According to the two, they were briefed that the boy was one of the nine students from the school who were taking part in a swimming competition for inter-schools in Murang’a East sub-county.

The brief by the school Board of Management stated that the Kelvin went missing in unclear circumstances.

But Patrick and Eva sense something sinister in Kelvin’s death after they established that all the nine schools that participated in the swimming competition travelled back to their respective schools without anybody raising an alarm that one student was missing.

Even after the dust had settled and the Gathukiini Secondary School bus touched base late in the evening, they argue, no one reported that one of the nine boys who had traveled to Elite School for the swimming competition had not returned together with the others.

The guardians also accuse the teacher who had accompanied the boys of negligence as even he/she did not raise alert until late in the night when the police went through a rigorous exercise of calling the different schools in a bid to find out which specific one had a boy missing.

This was after the swimming pool attendant at Elite Secondary School went to do some cleaning only to notice something under the water, which he later found out was the body of a human being and promptly reported to the school’s management.

Swimming pool at Elite secondary school where Kelvin Kariuki drowned. PHOTO| VICTOR KINUTHIA

The deceased’s guardians now suspect they are not being told the whole truth concerning the death of the boy they had taken care of since the death of his mother at just three years old.

They also accused the Elite school to interfering with the scene of the accident by cleaning the swimming pool even after the Deputy County Commissioner, Mr. Kepha Marube and DCIO Mr. Japhet Maingi directed that the pool be closed indefinitely and thus no one was to tamper with the scene until investigations by the police were over.

Eva added that it was such a painful feeling to bring a child to a school for studies only to get them back in a coffin.

She questioned why the school management does not ask parents about their children’s talents before engaging them in activities.

Patrick further added that the late Kelvin had never engaged in any swimming activity and was only best in football.

They appealed to the security officers to ensure that their son gets justice for his death and thus every party should carry its cross.

Police at Elite secondary school where Kelvin Kariuki drowned. PHOTO| VICTOR KINUTHIA

They also said that Kelvin was still green in the school as he was admitted only last month having been transferred from Machakos County to Murang’a County.

Drama was witnessed at Elite Secondary School on Saturday after journalists and the DCC were kicked out of the institution by the management after they arrived at the school to seek what led to Kelvin’s death.

They were ordered out of the school and directed to visit the school’s proprietor at Maragua for details before the school principal took off.

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Story By Victor Kinuthia
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