Teacher placed on three year probation for murder
A teacher has been placed on a three year probation service for murdering a pupil while disciplining him at the Roka Preparatory school , Mwea , Kirinyaga County over seven years ago.
James Davis Kariuki , the teacher cum proprietor of the school was placed on probation service by Justice Lucy Gitari of the Chuka High Court a move that has sparked off hue and cry from the boy’s mother .
Gitari after hearing the case when she was based at the Kerugoya law courts, Kirinyaga County ruled that Kariuki had a case to answer on February 21, 2019.
She was later transferred to her new station in Chuka before she could hand down the judgment and the matter kept of being adjourned on the grounds that Gitari was yet to write the much awaited judgment.
Kariuki had been charged that on April 2, 2014 while being the proprietor /cum teacher at the said school murdered Martin Muchiri Wambui who was a class seven pupil at the institution .
It was said Martin and five other boys had been caught making noise on the material date and were to be disciplined for their indisciplined behavior .
A witness Paul Nzami who was the school’s Deputy Head Teacher told the court how on the material date found the five boys outside their classroom in the company of a teacher Simon Makau.
He told the court he learnt from Makau that the pupils had been identified as noise makers and he ordered them to kneel down and proceeded to the office and notified Kariuki.
Kariuki then rushed to where the five pupils were kneeling down and started canning them but Martin kept on dodging the cane but it caught him below the neck.
It emerged that after the canning the pupils went to their class but Martin collapsed and had to be rushed to hospital by the accused where he was pronounced dead.
Kariuki was consequently arrested and charged with the murder of the pupil but a key witness who was the deceased’s classmate and present when the said murder occurred disappeared for good when his evidence was required by the court.
The said pupil Lewis Ndegwa failed to report back to school during the second term and his whereabouts remain unknown to date through it was claimed it was a deliberate move to weaken the case .
Kariuki who had been out on Sh 500,000 bond and surety of same amount was being represented by Wangechi Munene while the prosecution had lined up eight witnesses .
Among the witneses were a psychiatrist Dr Joseph Thuo and a Pathologist Dr Sylvesta Maingi as well as severalpolice officers who were hadling the investigations.
Maingi after the post mortem concluded the death the pupil was caused by a blunt trauma on the head .
The pupil’s mother Mercy Wambui told the media yesterday she only learnt through someone at the Kerugoya law courts the judgment had already been delivered virtually without her knowledge in July .
She also recalled how a probation officer visited her at her residence in Kutus town seeking to know how she had been coping with the death of her only child and if she had forgiven Kariuki .
Wambui saisd she was unable to give the officer any answer since she had not even been alerted by the court or the area Chief of such a visit or requirement to answer to the questions put to her .
“This was an ambush and hence I did not respond to any of the questions posed to me though I have learnt the officer reported that my answere was to leave the mater to the court to do as it wished,” she said amid sobs .
The single mother said it was unfortunate the judgment was delivered without her knowledge since she would have wished to be present in court and cried foul over the whole process.
She is now seeking for the intervention of the Chief Justice Martha Kome maintaning the three year probation service was too lenient a punishment over the loss of her only child .
“My son died in the hands of the very teacher /proprietor of a school whom I used to pay school fees for the education he was seeking for .This is injustice and impunity of the highest order which I cannot stand,”Wambui screamed.
Efforts by the Mt Kenya News Reporter to peruse the case file at the Kerugoya law courts were fruitless as the court officials claimed the file could not be traced and further that such files contained information of private people who have families and friends and as such the media could not access it.
Even as this reporter reminded the official that such matters were of public interest and concerns ,hence the need for the media to have access she became adamant and told me off.
Martin would have been a second year University student had he lived to date , according to his mother given his brilliance right fro9m when he was in class one..