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Families of Moi Girls Fire Victims Outraged By Convict’s Lenient Sentence

Families of Moi Girls Fire Victims Outraged By Convict’s Lenient Sentence

Families of students who died in the Moi Girls School fire on Thursday expressed dissatisfaction with the sentence handed down to the convict.
She was sentenced to five years in prison.

They told the press that the sentence imposed by Justice Stella Mutuku was excessively lenient.

“I thought it was going to be a stiffer sentence,” said Maryanne Mwangi, a mother who lost her daughter in the 2017 incident. “But nothing will ever bring my ‘Bubbles’ back to me whether the convict stays in jail forever or not.”

Mwangi is the late Wambui Leah aka Bubbles’ mother. She was 14 years old when she died.

Her mother stated that her daughter’s bubbly personality, kindness, and love were what drew her back to the dormitory to help others on that fateful day.

“I am still trying to process the lenient sentence,” she said. “I have no words only to say it has been a long emotional journey. Nothing seems to bridge the gap she left.”

In December of last year, the convict, who is now 18 years old, was found guilty of manslaughter.

She was charged with the murder of the ten girls, but the charge was reduced to manslaughter by the court.

Mutuku found her guilty because the prosecution failed to prove the element of malice aforethought. She was unable to convict her of murder.

“Consequently, I find her not guilty of the ten counts of murder she is facing. She is hereby acquitted but I find her guilty of the ten counts of manslaughter,” she said.

Families of Moi Girls Fire Victims Outraged By Convict's Lenient Sentence
The late Mary Njengo Mokaya heroin who lost her life saving fellow students in the Moi girls school dormitory fire

Mutuku also noted that the convict did not start the fire with the intent of killing her classmates, but rather in a desperate attempt to be transferred from the school.

“Her aim may have been just to cause a fire and burn the building without hurting anyone,” the judge said.

Mutuku said as she handed down the sentence on Thursday, “It is clear the families are still grieving.” Life will never be the same again, but the subject is sorry. She expresses regret for her actions and requests leniency from the court.”


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The judge considered the subjects’ mitigations, statements from the victims’ families, and a probation officer’s pre-sentence report.

According to the judge, the statements are expressions of grief and sorrow for the families’ losses.

In her mitigation, the convict asked the victim’s families to find closure, healing, and forgiveness in their hearts.

She stated that her time served during the trial was eye-opening.
According to court documents, the convict has since enrolled at the Technical University of Kenya.

She is studying counselling psychology and expresses her sincere apologies. She prayed for forgiveness from the families who had been harmed.

Families of Moi Girls Fire Victims Outraged By Convict's Lenient Sentence

According to the court, she and her parents have been unable to approach the victims’ families due to animosity. The court recognized that the offender was a minor at the time of the offence.

It was also discovered that no amount of punishment could ever satisfy the families who had lost their children.

“This is a matter of great magnitude. We cannot turn back the clock. Sadly the victim’s family have to live with these memories for as long as they live,” the judge said.

Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. The sentence will be read aloud at the same time. She has the right to file an appeal.


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The sentence, according to the Judge, will begin on the day she was convicted in December of last year.

Wambui’s mother expressed hope that the sentence will serve as a deterrent to other students in light of the recent spate of school fires.

William Ogola, a grandparent of one of the deceased students, expressed relief that the case has concluded.

Ogola said they expected a harsher sentence noting that their loss is irreplaceable. He urged Kenyan students to refrain from engaging in fire-related activities as it is not going to solve the problem.

Families of Moi Girls Fire Victims Outraged By Convict's Lenient Sentence

Families of Moi Girls Fire Victims Outraged By Convict’s Lenient Sentence

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