Government urged to fast track compensation of Kyanguli fire victims

Parents of the 67 students who lost their children in the Kyanguli fire tragedy in Machakos seventeen years ago have urged the government to ensure that they are duly compensated as per the court’s ruling.

Speaking during a memorial service held at the school on Tuesday, the parents claimed that it has been two years now since a Nairobi court ruled that they be given Shs. 650, 000 each.

In March 3, 2016, High Court Judge, Justice Joseph Sergon while sitting at the Milimani law court ruled that they be awarded a total of Shs.41 million.

A parent who requested anonymity said that although the money cannot bring back to life their sons but it will offer them the needed solace and comfort

She claimed that despite having followed up on the matter for 17 years, their flicker of hopes seemed to be diminishing by the day.

According to a school administrator who requested anonymity, the institution is following up on the matter with the concerned government authorities to have the victims compensated

The March 26, 2001 fire was the biggest fire death toll to have been witnessed in the country. Twenty one others were injured while 70 survived from the dormitory fire.

In his 2016 ruling the judge faulted the school management, as the agent of the government for negligence and failing to prevent the inferno given that there were two previous attempts by a section of aggrieved students to burn the school.

Sergon pointed that the school management should have carried out investigations when reports emerged of petrol within the school dormitory and that the institution should have been closed immediately and adequate measures put in place to contain a possible strike or attack.

He also faulted the school for failing to fit, provide and secure fire-fighting equipment and provide adequate and appropriate access, emergency and exit points in the congested dormitories.

The parents sued the then Head teacher, David Mutiso Kiilu, Deputy head teacher Stephene Kasyoka Makau, the Teacher’s Service Commission (TSC), the school board of governors and the Attorney-General.

They filed the claim at the High Court for damages after the previous judgement found the head teacher and his deputy guilty of negligence

Source: Kenya News Agency