A Standard 2 student at Mnagoni Primary School in Bamba, Ganze constituency died on Thursday after he was canned a week ago by his teacher. Mohamed Juma, 14, died on his way to Bamba Subcounty Hospital. Ganze police boss Patrick Ngeiywa said on Friday the teacher, David Katama, has been arrested and will be arraigned.
Speaking to the Star on the phone, Ngeiywa said police will seek court permission to hold the suspect until investigations are complete. “The information we gathered is that the student was given a corporal punishment by the teacher. We’re investigating to establish if the death is related to the caning or whether he had other medical problems,” Ngeiywa said.
Mnagoni assistant chief Japhet Kalama said the student was caned and injured on Thursday last week. He did not report the caning to his parents. “He later complained about pains and was taken to hospital on Sunday for a check-up,” Kalama said.
His father Juma Ngari said Mohamed’s condition worsened on Thursday when he decided to take the boy to hospital for another check-up. “He started vomiting blood on the way. I think he sustained internal injuries and he had been in pain since the day he was punished. He finally collapsed and died,” Ngari said. He asked police to investigate thoroughly and ensure the teacher is held responsible. Mohamed’s body was taken to Kilifi County Mortuary.
Plans for a postmortem were unsuccessful after the parents failed to pay the required Sh25,000. “We were initially asked to pay Sh3,500 for the postmortem but they later increased the charge claiming the pathologist would come from Mombasa,” Ngari said. The body had been taken to the morgue by police, which means the autopsy ought to have been free. Ngari said the family cannot raise the money.
Kilifi county medical superintendent Eddy Nzomo said the family has to pay the Sh25,000 demanded because the autopsy will be carried out by a private pathologist.
“We normally charge Sh3,500, where Sh2,000 is paid to the doctor and the rest taken by the hospital. This particular case is a bit complicated and that’s why we advised the family to get a private pathologist to conduct the postmortem,” Nzomo said. The case is not unique. A number of teachers have been accused of killing and beating students, even kicking the genitals of one boy who needed surgery.