Emotions ran high at the burial of Kevin Kiptanui, the Form One student who died a day after he was caned by his teachers at Chemase Secondary School in Nandi county, with mourners demanding the arrest of the two teachers implicated in the caning, which is believed to have caused his death.
It happened as the school Board of Management told mourners, through its chairman Joel Chemiron, that the Form One student died due to complications arising from the caning by his two teachers.
“Kevin died due to excessive caning and the school board, parents and students want justice served to his family. We want the truth to be known and we shall not allow a cover-up on this incident,” Mr Chemiron told mourners who attended his burial.
He said the school management wants police to arrest the two teachers, even as investigations go on.
The school was closed indefinitely following the death, and investigations are going on.
Tension was high at Kiptanui’s burial, with speakers demanding to know from authorities why the two teachers accused of causing the student’s death were still walking free.
The teachers are set to appear before the school board on Wednesday for questioning.
They are expected to show cause why they should not be interdicted for the caning, given that corporal punishment is banned in Kenyan schools.
Kiptanui, 16, who was barely a week old at the school, was buried at his family home in Chemelil Ward, Tindiret sub-county. He died at the Nandi Hills Hospital on March 4, after the caning by his teachers on March 3, allegedly for cheating in a physics exam.
At his burial, angry mourners demanded an explanation from police on why the two teachers are yet to be arrested.
The student was buried before the cause of his death was established, with the results of a post-mortem by a government pathologist yet to be released.
Dr Simon Omuok, the North Rift pathologist collected samples from the body last week and took them to the Government Chemist in Nairobi for further analysis, citing some complications.
Mr Chemiron and Chemelil Ward MCA Martin Douglas demanded the immediate arrest and sacking of the two teachers.
“The board of management wants police to arrest the two teachers even as investigations go on,” said Mr Chemiron.
Mr Douglas said the incident left students at Chemase Secondary School psychologically tortured.
He said the Chemase community demands justice for Kiptanui’s family, terming the teachers’ action careless and an act of impunity.
Teachers who attended the burial were on the receiving end, with mourners telling them off over corporal punishment.
The student’s family maintained that he has been in good health since birth. His mother said he only developed complications after the caning, and complained of pain in the abdomen.