Three students arrested for setting dorm on fire

What was left after the dorm at Lamu Boys Secondary school was burnt down. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: Three students of Lamu Boys Secondary School in Lamu town have been arrested in connection with torching their school dormitory Wednesday evening.

This is the third dorm fire at the school within a week.

Last week, students torched yet another dormitory at the school and destroyed property estimated to be worth Sh.500,000.

A day later,the students also set ablaze the Head Boy’s cubicle and torched his personal belongings resulting in the suspension of 10 students.

Police also recovered what they termed as 12 bottles of ‘suspicious liquids’ and perfumes which were allegedly used to set up the fire in the dorm.

The items were recovered following a police search of the students and the school shortly after the fire incident.

No one was injured as the fire is said to have started during games time.

More than 50 mattresses, beds and students belongings were reduced to ashes in the inferno.

Confirming Wednesday’s incident however,Lamu county commander Muchangi Kioi said those arrested are currently in police custody as interrogations into the matter continue.

Kioi said the recovered liquids will be sent to the government chemist in Mombasa to ascertain its petrol of diesel or any other for that matter.

He blamed the school management for failing to ensure contrabands like the suspicious liquiuds don’t find their way into schools.

He however said security at the school has been beefed up to ensure no similar incidents occur within or without the school compound.

“We have arrested three students and we believe they will tell us more on the incident.We recovered several bottles of liquids that will also be sent to the government for testing then we will know where to go from there,”said Kioi.

The school management board and teachers are currently locked in a meeting to chart the way forward.

The school chairperson Masjid Basheikh however revealed that the students are suspected to have started the fire with intention to be allowed to go home for Ramadhan.

He also estimated the property destroyed to be worth Sh.2 Million.

“We suspect all this unrest has to do with Ramadhan but we all know that’s never part of the syllabus,”said Basheikh.

Similarly,hundreds of parents stormed the school on Wednesday night demanding the release of their children on grounds that the school had proved incapable of taking care of them.

It took the intervention of police officers who had been deployed to guard the institution following the earlier incident to calm them down and even prevent them from forcefully accessing the school premises.

Parents are now blaming the school for failing to tame their boys.

“We can’t keep paying fines for incidents like this.Is the school unable to deal with them or what,”said Mariam Mohamed.

Last week,Lamu West MP Stanley Muthama and women rep Ruweida Obbo had toured the school shortly after the first fire and donated Sh.400,000 towards replacing items torched.