QUICK action by members of Kajiado county security team, Ministry of Education and members of the National Cohesion and Integration (NCIC) saved what could have degenerated into chaotic scenario after students of Olkejuado High School went on a rampage and brought down a mosque under construction in their institution.
Yesterday, members of NCIC led by commissioners Halakhe Waqo and Millie Lwanga led a fact-finding mission in Kajiado town and met with religious leaders from the Muslim and Christian communities, Community Commissioner Arthur Osiya and Ministry of Education officials.
The meeting which took place at the County Commissioner's offices and later at the school established that the friction that occurred at Olkejuado High on Tuesday this week was related to the construction of the Mosque in the school compound.
Osiya said the school's Board of Governors have been opposed to the construction of the Mosque after it had been approved by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education in 2008 and 2009. Members of the BOG have rejected the construction of a Mosque in two occasions owing to the fact that the institution was built on a christian foundation.
The school in question, however, had agreed to allow Muslim students conduct prayers in a classroom and not a mosque in the school. We could not, however, establish if the letter from the PS had actually allowed the mosque to be put up inside the school's compound or otherwise.
Waqo said initial investigation as to what occurred in the school on Tuesday established that the communities living in Kajiado were not even aware that their children had an issue of religious matter in the school and that the entire scenario should be treated as an institutional matter because the students at the school had earlier raised various issues.
"We have come here today to establish the truth of the matter as regards what happened at the school and we have established that this is not a matter pitting Christians and Muslim but an issue of indiscipline coupled with historical issues affecting students and we are happy that the head of the school is addressing some of the issues raised by the students," said Waqo.
The students on Tuesday burnt down a food store for the Muslim students and brought down a section of the Mosque which was still being constructed on allegations that the school administration had failed to iron out some of their (unspecified) issues. The students, who have since been sent home until 4th of September, went on to block the Nairobi/Namanga Highway with big stones for several hours on Wednesday morning.
The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims Secretary General, Adan Wachu and a leader from the christian fraternity, Jackson Letuati Umash spoke and said the matter should not be politicized by those attempting to gain cheap publicity for their own selfish ends.