By Lydia Gichuki
Othaya Boys High School Principal Edward Muhuni will be jailed for six months after being found guilty of contempt of court for disobeying a court order to re-admit 20 students.
In the ruling issued by High Court Judge Justice Florence Muchemi, Mr.Muhuni disobeyed a March 23 order that required him to re-admit the candidates, who were suspended for assault.
Court documents showed the students were suspended in October last year after attacking three of their peers, leaving one seriously injured.
She continued to say that through their lawyer Muhoho Gichimu, they had provided enough proof that the principal and the school’s Board of Management (BOM) had been served with the order.
It is after Justice Muchemi’s March 23 orders, that the students and their parents were invited to a meeting with school administrators to discuss how they would sit their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations, which were to begin in March.
The students’ lawyer in court documents said that the administrators only called for a meeting after the county director of education intervened even after the court had issued a re-admission order.
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It is during the meeting the students were instead informed that they would be day schoolers and be accommodated at a nearby local school where an external cook and an armed officer contracted by the school would take care of them
The school also required them to report ready for re-admission and asked them to pay Sh3, 500 that was to be used to pay for an external cook.
Justice Florence Muchemi blamed the school for failing to challenge the order if it had a problem obeying it.
“Assuming that the school had a problem with obeying the order, it would have instructed its counsel to challenge it in court but nothing of that sort was done and it instead remained adamant in shutting the students from its premises,” said the judge.
In an affidavit, Mr. Muhuni said he caught the three students in the school’s ablution block where the assault incident happened and reported the matter to the police station.
After the students were charged in court, the school, through a BOM meeting, decided to suspend them as they were suspected of bullying others.
However, the students rushed to the High Court and sought orders to compel the school administration to re-admit them pending the hearing and determination of the suit.