Government compensates Kyanguli fire tragedy victims

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Government of Kenya relieves victims of Kyanguli fire tragedy 18 years later.

The government has disbursed Sh54million award given to 63 families who sued for damages over the death of their children in a fire tragedy at Kyanguli Mixed secondary school, Machakos County later named as Kyanguli Memorial School.

In general a total of 67 students lost their lives in fierce inferno that gutted down a boys dormitory on the ill-fated night of March 26, 2001 .However, only 63 sued the school for negligence.

On 17th July 2019 a court ruled in favour of the 63 families of the victims and survivors who went to court in 2002.

The victims sued the then headmaster David Mutiso, his deputy Stephen Kasyoka, Teachers Service Commission, the school’s board of governors and the attorney general.

The dormitory was said to be holding double the number of students than its capacity allowed and that the students had a habit of locking the doors at night.

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The windows were barred and there was no fire extinguishers in sight. Charred remains of the victims were buried in mass graves.

In his 2016 judgment, Justice Sergon found the school administration culpable for having failed to act to avert a planned arson. He faulted then School Principal and his deputy of failing to act despite having had knowledge of the impending arson.

The court ordered the government to compensate the families Sh40.9 million but the funds were delayed rising to Sh54 million as a result of interest accrued.

Students in public boarding schools have been infamous for damaging school property whenever they are discontent with things ranging from a bullish teacher, bad school food, extreme punishment to having external functions ‘funkies’ banned and holiday tuition forced on them.

The funds will be disbursed to accounts of respective families within fourteen days.The affected families will now get approximately Sh857,000, up from Sh650,000.

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