A family in Busia County is mourning the death of their daughter whom they claim died under “mysterious circumstances.”
Pauline Apiyo Ouma, a KCPE candidate at Nangina Boarding Primary School, is alleged to have died on April 5 after suffering from internal bleeding.
Ouma’s parents claim they are gutted that the school authority has treated her death so ‘casually’.
Speaking to The Nairobian, Ouma’s mother, Peris Nyarotso said she was called to the school after her daughter started vomiting blood.
“I received a call from one of the teachers that my daughter was very sick. I rushed to the school at around 5pm and found a group of girls who started shouting, “Mama Pauline kimbia Pauline anakufa. Kimbia, Pauline anakufa,” she said.
“My daughter was in the dorm, lying on her stomach, blood oozing from mouth, ears and nose. She could not talk, but just stared at me. Whenever she coughed, more blood oozed from mouth, ears and mouth. She was weak and looked like she had been starving,” she added.
Nyarotso says she rushed her daughter to the Holy Family Mission Hospital, Nangina, where she died less than an hour after being admitted.
“It is strange my child was seriously ill and teachers could not call to inform us about it. I am sure that her illness would have been discovered and treated earlier,” said Ouma’s father, Vitalis Ouma,
The parents claim that when they went to seek answers from the headmistress, Sister Anne Onyancha, she claimed that it was a ‘normal death’ and that many kids had died in the school and their daughter was not the first one.
“I was shocked. She didn’t reveal much and instead pledged a sack of sugar while the priest at the Parish promised three crates of soda for mourners during the burial, pledges that were never honoured,” she claims.
Nyarotso claims students were not allowed to attend the burial after the school refused to offer transport.
When The Nairobian visited the school, some of the pupils claimed that Ouma had been beaten.
“We are canned like donkeys, especially when we fail to score over 300 marks. The punishment includes ‘Chambers’ and ‘Farasi.’ In Chambers, pupils are holed in a room and whipped by teachers as they move in circles. In Farasi, a pupil places her head inside the teacher’s table/desk and gets whipped mercilessly,” one of the pupils claimed.
When contacted about the beating of students, deputy headteacher Ouma Apelli rudely responded; “How did you get my name and phone number?” before hanging up.
According to pathologist Dr Hillary Kiplagat from Busia County Hospital who carried the post-mortem, he disclosed that “It is lung disease that killed her. Her lungs had nodules and had changed in colour” and that Pauline was not taken good care of when sick.
The family reported the matter to Funyula Police Station where they were informed “the matter was reported and was under investigation and that although Sister Onyancha had been summoned, she was yet to appear at the Station”.
Samia OCPD Mary Kiarie asked for time because of “investigations”, while Assistant Chief, Petronilla Auma of Bukhulungu Sub-Location said; “I have nothing to say. Go ask the school.”