11 StephJoy school fire suspects to be held longer
Eleven students from Stephjoy Boys High School who were arrested in connection with an arson attack at the school will be detained until Thursday.
The minors appeared before Limuru Principal Magistrate Geoffrey Oduor on Tuesday but did not take plea.
Two students, Ian Kamau and Edwin Mugo, died during the Sunday night fire which gutted two dormitories.
The third one,Zachary Njoroge, succumbed while undergoing treatment at the Kenyatta Nation National Hospital on Monday night.
Seven others who had been admitted at the Tigoni Sub-county Hospital after suffering breathing difficulties and chest pains were treated and discharged on Monday.
Police Constable David Njogu of Tigoni Police Station had in a sworn affidavit requested the court to allow them hold the students for another five days pending the investigations.
Mr Njogu told the court that they were yet to collect enough evidence to either charge the students in relation to the incident or have them released in they are found not culpable.
The officer, who is leading the investigations, release of the 11 suspects would jeopardize the ongoing investigation.
“We can not arraign the students within the stipulated time because we do not have enough evidence. We are appealing to this court that we be allowed more time to collect evidence and arraign them after five days,” Mr Njogu said.
The magistrate granted the stay order but reduced the days to three. He also ordered that the suspects be detained in the children protection unit at Tigoni Police Station.
Mr Oduor also directed that the minors be kept away from other remandees and that their statutory rights be respected.
At the same time, leaders in the county have asked the government set up clear standards for private boarding secondary schools and ensure that they are observed to avert deaths and injuries during arson attacks.
Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi, who visited the school, said there are security and safety issues in all schools which need to be addressed, saying several cases of unrest had continued to be reported in the country.