Education Cabinet Secretary, Ezekiel Machogu says the police are not to be blamed for the teargassing of a school in Kangemi, Nairobi County on Wednesday, July 13.
Speaking at the Kihumbuini secondary and Junior secondary school, the CS revealed that a civilian lobbed the teargas after an officer released the canister.
“We have confirmed from the security team that the teargas canister that was lobbed did not drop in the school compound, it dropped outside the school compound. But some mischievous guy took it up and threw the canister in the school compound,” said CS Machogu.
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However, the locals blamed the police officers for throwing the canister, as they tried to quell the chaos anti-government demonstrations rocked the country.
Parents are still shocked following the trauma that their children endured with anxiety rising after the opposition announced more protests next week.
In addition, the Cabinet Secretary assured that the children will be safe and that demonstrations will not affect the learning program in parts of the country.
“The government is putting up measures in place and the security operators is very much alert, we also appeal with Kenyans, particularly the young people to desist from participating in any protests,” said CS Ezekiel Machogu
Additionally, the protests are feared they can leave permanent damage on the children, as the students said they are scared of any loud bang. The safety of the children remains in question as this was not the first incident during the protests.
UNICEF statement after Kangemi chaos
Furthermore, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has condemned the teargassing of the children by the security operators during the anti-government protests.
UNICEF appealed to both the government and the opposition to put in place measures to ensure the safety and protection of children.
According to UNICEF, no situation should expose children to harm and that all actors must work together to safeguard their fundamental right to education.
While Machogu apologized to parents saying that the incident was unfortunate, it is not clear if the coming demos will interrupt learning in schools, especially those in hotspots such as Kibra, Pipeline, Kondele and Mathare.
During Machogu’s tour at Kihumbuini school, reports indicated that a number of learners and a teacher were still in hospital after sustaining injuries.