The government will pay for funeral expenses of the 10 Pupils of St. Gabriel Primary School who died in a grisly road accident last Saturday in Mwingi town, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Amb Amina Mohamed has said.
Amb Mohamed said the government will similarly pay for all the medical expenses of the pupils were admitted to various hospitals following the accidental.
The Cabinet Secretary, who delivered special condolence message from President Uhuru Kenyatta, made the revelation during the St. Gabriel Primary School Children’s’ Requiem Mass in Mwingi town on Thursday.
The accident happened when the pupils were returning from an educational tour in Mombasa. Eight pupils died on the spot, two died on the way to hospital, two were admitted at Nairobi Hospital, and two more were admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital.
Three were admitted to Mwingi Level Four Hospital while twenty-nine pupils were treated and discharged from Mwingi Level Four Hospital. The school matron is recovering at Mwingi Level Four Hospital while the three teachers were treated and discharged.
In his message to the mourners read by Amb Mohamed, the President noted that Kenya had lost precious lives whose dreams and visions were cut shot by human error saying the tragedy could have been avoided had all the concerned parties adhered to the traffic laws.
“I ask teachers, parents and guardians to be keener and ensure safety of our children for they are our future. It is better to be safe than to be sorry. It is better to be late by one day than to lose precious lives,” the President added.
On his part, Education PS Belio Kipsang said that the ministry of Education was much pained by the accident, urging all schools to observe the 6:00AM to 6:00PM driving hours directive in order to avoid such incidents in future.
Kipsang called upon all drivers to seek refuge in the neighboring schools or nearest police station in case the clock hits 6:00PM while still on the road.
The Requiem Mass was attended by among others, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, M Monica, Juma, the Governor for Kitui County, Mrs. Charity Ngilu, Wiper Party Leader, Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka, Former Kitui Senator, and Mr. David Musila and his successor, Mr. Enoch Wambua.
Wiper Party leader Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, in his speech condoled with the believed families, adding that what delayed most the driver on the road was poor standards of Kitui -Kibwezi road which the driver opted to use in a bid to beat the stipulated time.
Kalonzo called upon the National government to hasten construction of the Kitui-Kibwezi road, in order to connect Kitui to the rest of the world.
The Wiper Party leader urged leaders in the country to avoid negative and focus on positive things which CA help this nation forge forward.
Kitui governor Charity Ngilu in her word of condolences said that losing such many lives was extremely painful, especially for the parents.
Ngilu said that the County government of Kitui will do it’s best to help the bereaved family, saying that she would personally apportion no blame to anyone requesting Kenyans to pray for the departed souls instead.
Kitui senator Enoch Wambua said that death of the ten pupils a very big loss for Kenya.
Mwingi central MP Dr Gideon Mulyungi thanked the clergy for hosting the event and called upon education CS to be keen in ensuring that school adhere to transport laid out policies.
Mulyungi called upon Transport CS to ensure that the contractor renovating the Thika-Garissa highway to improve standards of his work and to ensure that all heaps of marrum which he has poured along the road are cleared.
Also, Dr Mulyungi called upon KENHA to ensure that they put guardrails on both sides of the road where the accident occurred, in order to avert future accidents.
Kitui East MP Nimrod Mbai said the accident could have been avoided, if only all road use regulations would have been observed.