Kenyan prosecutors have ordered the arrest of a school headmistress in the coastal city of Mombasa after a school bus ran over a six-year-old pupil who fell through an opening on the floor of the moving bus on Friday.
The little Jeremy Masila of the St Augustine’s Preparatory School in Mombasa was killed instantly by the rear wheels of the rickety school bus which was packed with children en route to school for their last day of the academic year.
Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Alexander Muteti, in a letter on Saturday also ordered for a murder investigation to be initiated as well as the arrest of other officials of the school.
“Consequently, we have directed the immediate arrest of the school principal, the bursar, bus driver, the school mechanic and the bus driver’s helper who was on board. We shall move to court tomorrow (Monday),” he said.
Consequently, we have directed the immediate arrest of the school principal, the bursar, bus driver, the school mechanic and the bus driver's helper who was on board. We shall move to court tomorrow (Monday).
“The safety of school going children is a matter of great public interest and calls for immediate and thorough investigations into the matter to unearth the circumstances leading to the unfortunate incident,” he added.
The accident was immediately followed by the signing of the Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017 into law by the president.
The Traffic (Amendment) Act 2017 provides that a person or institution shall not designate or use a vehicle for transporting children to and from school or non-school related activity unless it meets the prescribed standards.
This seeks to promote road safety near schools and child safety in school buses as the vehicles are now supposed to be fitted with seat belts, and vehicles approaching schools must not exceed the speed limit of 50km per hour.
School buses are also barred from operating at night and are to be painted yellow. Contravention of this new law attracts a fine, two-month sentence or both.