The recent incident at Maseno School, where a sodomised student was hospitalised, exposed the elephant in the dormitory – homosexuality in boys’ boarding schools. While lesbianism has been exposed and girls suspended, the case of sodomy in boys’ schools is rarely addressed, even though its existence is known.
Indeed, what started as a social media rumour that sodomy was the order of the day at Maseno School, went on to open a can of worms involving a Form One student at the school who has since been transferred to another school in Meru after he allegedly fell prey to randy backdoor goats at the school.
School principal Paul Otula has received a show cause letter why disciplinary action should not be taken against him over the matter after the Ministry of Education launched investigations.
According to the officials who sought anonymity, the principal erred in allowing the transfer of the boy without following laid down procedures, and failing to report the sodomy allegations to relevant authorities, even after it came to his knowledge.
“These days, transfer of students from one school to another must involve county directors of education where the schools are located. But this never happened,” said the source.
A member of the investigations team, however, noted that it was not possible to come to a conclusion that the student was sodomised since he had moved to another school and was not available to help in identify his tormentors.
“Even the guardian previously told us that he was willing to bring the boy to help us in investigations, but he never responded, not even sending us his statement on mail as we had requested,” he said.
The guardian however confirmed recording a statement with the Ministry of Education officials at the headquarters, and would not “wish to disrupt the boy from school by bringing him all the way to Kisumu again, yet I have given the same information to the headquarters.”
Contacted by The Nairobian, Otula declined to comment, saying, “I cannot speak to you.”
According to investigation statements, a Form One student was sodomised by his seniors, and given stern instructions to shut up.
And since the school’s chain of command requires all students’ issues to be channelled to the administration through prefects, the alleged sodomy victim could not risk making the report, lest he got further punishment.
But on January 24, his guardian, who hails from Eastern region, visited the boy at the school, where he allegedly discovered the sodomy claims and immediately reported the matter at Maseno Police Station under OB18/24/1/17.
An investigation file for the case was however not opened.
A source at the station told The Nairobian that the officers instructed the guardian to get a P3 Form from the hospital where the boy was treated before he could record a statement.
But the guardian, seething with rage, instead reported the matter to the Ministry of Education headquarters in Nairobi because the “relevant authorities were taking me in circles”.
A letter from the guardian, addressed to the school administration requesting to withdraw the boy from school was presented as part of the investigation evidence.
At least five of the 13 students interrogated by ministry officials over the case admitted to be aware of sodomy incidents in the school, with two prefects admitting that one of their major mandates when they ‘assumed office’ last year was to deal with sodomy.
But even before the dust had settled, it has now emerged that the same vice has taken root at Kisumu Day Secondary School.
Five students, including prefects, are currently serving suspension and are expected to appear before the school’s board of management for sexually molesting a Form One student, The Nairobian has established.
Even though school principal Gordon Muga declined to talk to the media about the matter, he confirmed that ministry officials have visited the school regarding the matter.
“We have education officers in the school on the same matter and you can approach and talk to them. I cannot speak to the media,” said Muga.
County Director of Education Sabina Aroni confirmed she had sent officers to the school to investigate the matter. Aroni admitted that she received the information from other quarters and assigned officials to visit the school and give her a report before end of business yesterday.
“For now, I cannot say much on the mater. Our officers are on the ground and will brief us on what they have found out before we decide which direction the matter will take,” she said.
She however said her office was working on a countywide operation which will focus on the cases of sodomy, after the Kisumu Day incident which came close in the wake of similar reports at Maseno School.
“It is difficult to establish if such acts are going on in schools if victims do not come out to report, hence I urge parents and teachers to work together and ensure that such cases are reported and acted upon,” said Aroni.