Examination cartels suspected to be behind current school fires

Director of Criminal Investigations and the National Intelligence Service have been challenged to investigate the motives that may have led to the recent destructive school fires that have wreaked havoc in the country for the last 5 years.

Speaking in Thika Thursday, Thika Regional KNUT Executive Secretary, Joe Mungai said that the two government departments are sleeping on their jobs and have failed to nail the real culprits behind the school fires that have recurred in secondary schools, every June and July for the last 5 years.

Mungai said that as a KNUT insider, he suspects the examination cartels who used to mint millions from the sale of exam materials are trying to blackmail the government to loosen the stringent measures that have been put in place to fight against examination cheating.

Though not totally overruling juvenile hooliganism in the wanton destruction and runaway indiscipline in schools, there are other forces that have not been exposed in this matter, said the KNUT official.

He said that arresting students and linking them to torching of schools is only a stop-gap measure and not a full measure.

I have not seen any case where a school sells fuel. You have to raise money and use adults and so, the learners are only used in igniting these fires. Students might be involved but there could also be someone else behind it and this must be outsiders, he stressed

The students suspected to be behind the arson should be treated as criminals and face the full force of the law and they should be dealt with according to the law. Most of them are between the ages of 15 -17 and they should be put under probation and upon reaching the age of 18, they should be imprisoned like any other criminals, he said.

The unionist lauded CS Fred Matiang’i and the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) for putting in place a full proof system to administer, supervise and mark the national examination, that have frustrated examination cheaters and their cartels, and challenged CS Amina Mohamed not to give in to attempts to water down the process.

Mungai insisted that the common denominator to the surging crime was centered on exam fever, and therefore advised students that date for the national examinations is fixed, and whether they burn their schools or not they will have to compete with others who have not taken any break.

To date, over 70 schools have been set ablaze this year, in 2017 over 120 schools were burn, and in 2016 over 126 schools were burnt, and Kenyans should not just sit down and wait for 2019 and another set of schools are set ablaze. There is something very wrong and it should be tamed with immediate effect, otherwise parents will continue being forced to rebuild institutions that have taken them decades to put in place. he concluded.

Source: Kenya News Agency