Kinyuru Munuhe and Wangui Githugo @PeopleDailyKe
Police yesterday collected DNA samples of five Moi Girls High School male teachers as investigations into alleged rape of a student at the institution gathered momentum.
Samples of three other suspects were collected yesterday even as the victim, a Form Two student, recorded a statement at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, where she also underwent counselling.
The development came as Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) piled pressure on the Education ministry to review safety standards in schools. And parents, activists and former students of the school held demonstrations at the institution, demanding the removal of principal Jael Muriithi.
The victim’s mother made passionate plea to the government to ensure justice is served for her firstborn daughter, who she said was traumatised since the incident happened in the wee hours of Saturday.
“All I need now is justice because my child has already been stripped of her dignity,” said the mother amid sobs.
The Kibera resident said she could not fathom how her child could be molested within the school compound, which ironically would be considered a safer haven for learners as opposed to the adjacent informal settlement.
Protesters, led by Laini Saba Member of County Assembly Cecilia Achieng’ called for the school principal’s sacking, saying she could not be trusted with safety of the students once they return. The school has since been closed for a week after the incident that left students in shock and sparked uproar across the country.
“The ministry refused to give timelines of when the investigations will be concluded and made public. But we will use all means possible to get to the bottom of this matter,” said the MCA.
Meanwhile, preliminary police findings indicate the dormitory’s cubicle in which the victim was assaulted is adjacent to matron’s.
The matron, identified as Monica Wambui, said she was woken up by a loud bang on her door and distress calls by girls informing her of the ordeal.
“The investigation is underway and persons of interest in the case will be identified. It is too early to comment,” said a senior detective, who did not want to be mentioned given the sensitivity of the case.
The crime scene was not yet cleaned and detectives are banking on samples collected to establish if they correspond with DNA of the eight suspects interrogated.
DNA tests are important in determining sexual violence cases as they allow detectives to compare the profile of a suspect against the evidence of bodily fluids found on the victim. Such tests can be used to nail or exonerate victims.
And in a letter to Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed, Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion asked the ministry in liaison with Interior docket to put in place measures to seal the “glaring loopholes” in the school security system as well as the general management of learning institutions.
He said most security guards in schools are unsuitable for the job as they are not professionally trained. He urged management boards to urgently vet the guards.
“Boarding schools are increasingly becoming unsafe for students something that should trigger prompt action by the ministry,” said Sossion.