Why Ex-Moi Girls student burned down school killing 10.
The fourteen-year-old girl from Nairobi was a troubled girl who did not like studying at the Moi Girls High School. She complained that the toilets were filthy and that she disliked having to clean them.
She begged her parents for a transfer for a variety of reasons, but they refused.
So, on September 1, 2017, four days after the start of the third term, she set fire to her Kabarnet dormitory. Ten of her fellows, or students, perished.
Alakiir Malong, Asiko Nanga, Esther Neema, Marcia Otieno, Nancy Wamuthere, Aziz Owuor, Whitney Kerubo, Hannah Timado, Mokaya Chengo and Leah Wambui were among those killed in the fire.
The little girl was found guilty of manslaughter by Justice Stella Mutuku on Thursday. She described her behaviour as that of a “child crying for attention.”
She stated that because the prosecution failed to prove malice aforethought, she was unable to convict her of murder as charged.
“Consequently, I find her not guilty of the 10 counts of murder she is facing. She is hereby acquitted of the 10 counts of murder but I find her guilty of 10 counts of manslaughter,” Mutuku said.
She will be sentenced on January 4 0.222.
According to the judge, She appeared unprepared for a public school like the one she was selected to. She vented her rage on WhatsApp to her friends and classmates, even threatening to burn down the school
The girl started a fire in her own bed, which quickly spread.
Justice Stella Mutuku said she is aware of the evidence that no one saw the person who set fire to the dormitory, but there is uncontroverted evidence that the fire started on the accused person’s bed.
It is unknown what was used to start the fire, whether it was hand sanitiser and matchsticks or something else.
However, traces of petrol or petroleum products were discovered after an examination of the ashes from areas near the washrooms, according to the judge.
The judge said she was unable to attribute the presence of petrol in the dormitory to the accused in the absence of evidence to that effect, adding that “a fire did start on her bed.”
Mutuku stated that it was a small fire that could have been managed and extinguished, but it was late at night.
Everyone was sound asleep and completely unaware of what was going on. When the girls awoke, they panicked and began running helter-skelter in an attempt to escape.
The trial has been postponed because the judge stated that it was an emotional case. The court had to adjourn several times to allow witnesses, particularly the parents of the deceased students, time to compose themselves during their testimony.
This also affected one prosecution counsel, who couldn’t control herself and broke down during the trial when an emotional witness testified.
Moi Girls is situated on 52 acres of land between Joseph Kang’ethe and Kibera Drive. There were approximately 354 students in the Kabarnet dormitory. The precise number could not be determined based on school records.
According to the evidence on file, the little girl was admitted to Moi Girls not through the normal intake process, but through the intervention of some officials at Jogoo House. The school principal revealed this evidence.
The judge stated that whether or not the student meant what she said about burning, it became serious when she carried it out.
Her hatred for the Moi Girls drove her to start the fire, not to kill her classmates, but in a desperate attempt to be transferred by any means possible.
Mutuku speculated that her intention may have been to start a fire and burn down the building without injuring anyone. But she didn’t consider that the building had two floors and that there would almost certainly be casualties.
“The subject, in her naivety, may have overlooked the consequences of her actions. Her attempt to wake some of her friends up was aimed at rescuing them from the fire,” the judge said.
42 witnesses were called by the prosecution. They included Moi Girls students as well as the accused’s friends.
Members of the school administration, including the principal, were also present.
According to evidence provided by the mother of one of the victims, the accused possessed a matchbox and demonstrated to her classmates one day how she could cast spells using the matchbox.
On the night of the fire, the accused prayed before going to bed, pleading with God for forgiveness for what she was about to do that night.
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However, in her defence, the accused denied using a matchbox to demonstrate a spell or showing it to her friends.
She also denied being a member of a cult, as her friends claimed. She claimed she did not start the fire.
Judge Mutuku also dismissed claims that she was an Illuminati member, stating that there was no evidence that the accused practised demon worship or had joined the Illuminati.