One student was hacked to death and several others are still missing while more than 40 were treated in hospital and discharged after a gang attacked a school in Dagoreti in Nairobi.
The attackers gained access to St Charles Mutego Education Centre, a private mixed secondary and primary school, at midnight using a broken wooden fence and went directly to the dormitories where they ordered all students to come out.
The deceased, a Form One student, was admitted to the school last week together with the rest of the form and was set to start learning this week. The student was killed outside the school compound while fleeing to a nearby forest. The body was taken to City Mortuary.
“The attackers who were armed with crude weapons stood at the main door of the dorm and order the door to be opened before they directed us to get out. They used timbers and pangas to hit us one by one,” said one student.
The students said the attackers who had covered their faces were merciless as they hit the students indiscriminately and even stepped on some girls who had collapsed.
The students added that after attackers ensured that most students were out of the dormitories they continued to drive them out of the school as other fled to nearby Ngong forest.
“I was hit on the back with a panga before I took off and I thank God that am alive though with some pains,” said a student, who explained that the attackers used planks of wood used for construction and repair at the school as weapons with which to hit them.
Mr Simon Ndiami, was one of the parents who had no idea on the whereabouts of his son, Isaac Lesile.
“I have checked with the school and have not seen my son so I am going to the police station to report the matter before I continue with the search together with my friends,” he said.
The director of the school, Charles Nyamute, said that he left the school at 11pm to go home only to receive a phone call later that students had been attacked.
“I do not know the motive of this attack on these innocent students,” said Mr Nyamute.
The school has about 1,000 learners in total.
The school principal Bonface Makori alleged that a number of students at the school had aided the attackers in accessing the dormitories.
“We have information that some students joined the attackers and even facilitated their exit from the school,” said Mr Makori.
He criticised parents who he claimed were not willing to divulge more information about their children while seeking admission at the school.
“As parents let us learn to be truthful and tell the school management so that we know the true characters of the children we admit in this school,” he said.
The centre, which is situated a few kilometers from Lenana School, is now set to a hold parents' meeting on Wednesday to decide on the next course of action.
Most of the parents said that their children arrived at home in the wee hours of the morning while others used friends' phones to call home.
The school management said that several parents had reported their children as missing and the school was working with the police in order to track them.
Several arrows and bows that had been used by the attackers were discovered in the compound.
Parents who spoke on condition of anonymity accused the management of failing to ensure security at the school, instead concentrating on admitting more students than the facilities could handle.
“This place is too congested and filthy and we hope that the management of the school will create a better learning environment,” lamented one parent.