John Ochiel, a friend to a family whose son, a 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) candidate, was allegedly beaten to death by school teachers has narrated how events unfolded.
Speaking during an interview, Ochiel said he had gained access to a video depicting the deceased writhing in pain stating how his headteacher at a primary school in Homa Bay County brutally beat him, inflicting serious injuries.
According to Ochiel, a post-mortem conducted by the family’s pathologist revealed that the boy’s death may have been caused by the injuries.
”My teachers.. they hit me hard.. then my body was swollen, I was unable to cry,” the video played during the interview, where the boy spoke in vernacular and translated by the host communicated.
John Ochiel who is a friend of the family
”They told me to come with my parents the next day..even my backside is swollen, they hit me hard, till I fell down,” the boy can be heard talking while in pain.
After seeing the video for the very first time, John Ochiel decided to contact one of the teachers mentioned by the boy in the video to establish exactly what had happened.
”He told me that he was instructed by the headteacher to call those girls and boys to his (Headteacher) office,” Ochiel stated revealing that the reason why the boy was summoned to the office was because he had been caught with a piece of paper bearing a mobile phone number.
The teacher at first claimed that the boy allegedly had a love affair with one of the girls in the mixed school.
According to Ochiel’s narration, the teacher later changed the narrative and claimed that the boy nicknamed Rambo had taken poison.
This stance, according to John raised more questions.
According to Ochiel, the postmortem done by the family pathologist showed that the deceased sustained severe injuries to his private parts, backside, and stomach through visible bruises and blood clots.
The report noted that the most fatal injuries were located on the head, including one at the back, accompanied by a blood clot in the brain, indicating internal bleeding that could have potentially caused his death.
”In the process, I had a claim of what was written in the report (postmortem) and I took a picture,” said John stressing that he took a picture fearing the possibility of the report being altered.
On their side, the teachers had their own lawyer and pathologist who had a different report showing that the boy died of poisoning.
During the interview, Ochiel revealed calling the area chief to raise concerns but was dismissed by the official who claimed that the matter was being blown out of proportion.
He further revealed that the school had a chequered record when it comes to school beatings with teachers frequently accused of going overboard with beatings.
”They did not even come to condole with the family, they are only speculating the issue of poison but even so, where did the blood clot come from?” said John.
”When you lose a child under such circumstances is very painful,” he added.
Ochiel called on the authorities to investigate the matter thoroughly and the perpetrators brought to the book which he said would serve as an example to others.
The Kenyan constitution outlaws any form of corporal punishment in schools and any other place.
A screen grab of Rambo’s father standing besides his grave