Form one student dies mysteriously ten days after admission

The family of a Form One student who died at Kilungu Boys Secondary School in Makueni County on Thursday last week is crying for justice after the school gave conflicting accounts.

Emmanuel Kirimi Kaimenyi, who had been admitted to the school only ten days earlier is said to have taken ill on the morning of Thursday, January 25 and rushed to Kilungu Sub County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The school principal Geoffrey Muema said the boy complained of stomach pains and was taken to the government health facility which is about 800 meters from the school.

“The student requested one of his classmates to escort him to the toilets and his condition suddenly worsened. He became unconscious and was rushed to a nearby hospital by two teachers,” said the principal.

Kimeu says he was called by the teachers moments later and asked to join them after medics at the hospital failed to resuscitate the boy.

The principal says the boy was taken ill some minutes to ten o’clock and quickly became unconscious and he died at 11am.

“I immediately called the Education office and briefed them and then proceeded to report the student’s sudden death at Kilungu police station,” he told the Nation on Sunday.

It was after this that Muema telephoned the student’s parents asking the father Joshua Kaimenyi to come to the school that his son had taken ill.

The father travelled from Isinya in Kajiado County and reached Kilungu around 6pm where the tragic news was broken to him. By this time, the student’s body had already been taken to Kilungu Hospital mortuary.

Joshua Kaimenyi, the father of Emmanuel Kirimi Kaimenyi speaks to journalists outside Kilungu sub-County Hospital. He has rejected the explanation of the school on what happened to his son.

Shocked and distraught, the father declined to view his son’s body and requested some relatives be called from Nairobi to accompany him to the mortuary.

The family believes the student may have been a victim of excessive bullying and that the school was not fully disclosing what exactly happened.

According to Lisa Mwongera, an aunt to the deceased, the body had bruises on his forehead, which is inconsistent with the theory of stomach upset.

Mwongera who spoke on behalf of the family said they had established that the boy was first taken to a private health facility situated between the school and the Kilungu Sub County Hospital, where he was declared dead.

“All along the principal never disclosed to us that material fact, yet that private hospital – Winesa Medical Center confirmed to us that they received the body of a student from the school at 10:40am” said Mwongera.

The family is wondering why the school sought admission of the student as a patient at the Kilungu public hospital despite having been notified by the private hospital that he was dead and why they chose to withhold that information from both the family and the police.

“The conflicting stories suggest that our son died in the school under unclear circumstances and was only taken to hospital later to justify that some action was taken to save his life,” said the family spokesperson.

She said they were devastated more upon also learning the inconsistencies in the time he was taken ill as reported by the school and the two hospitals.

The family has since transferred the body to Chiromo Mortuary awaiting a post-mortem exam to determine the cause of the boy’s death even as local police launch investigations.

So far, detectives have recorded statements from the principal, his deputy and several teachers including the two who took the student to the hospital, the teacher on duty and the boarding.

However, Makueni County Director of Education Charles Nyakundi accused the boy’s family of being sensational by making false allegations on social media.

“Am not defending the principal but the family is being unfair to the school. They should wait for the post-mortem exam to be done before rushing to accuse anyone of foul play” Nyakundi told the Nation when contacted over the matter.

The chairman of the School’s Board of Management Kennedy Malinda sent condolences to the bereaved family and urged for calm as investigators got to the bottom of the case.

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