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Strathmore University Drill of death


Serious questions abound following the botched security drill at Strathmore University last Monday in which an employee, Esther Kidambi, succumbed to death in the stampede that followed as several students, running helter-skelter for safety, were injured and hospitalised.
First, we must ask ourselves whether there is any norm when we want to get things done as planning is an important component to get things done the right way. In an event like the Strathmore University fiasco, there ought to have been adequate and proper planning followed by free flow of information to sensitise the student population, academic and other subordinate staff on what was going to be done or happen. That the drill went awry is a stark reminder of how we have more often than not, done things haphazardly without planning.
And for the Strathmore University Vice Chancellor John Odhiambo to take responsibility even though he affirms that he was not informed, smacks betrayal. If indeed, it is true that he was not in the know and that he even took off fearing for his own life, believing that it was a real attack on the campus, God forbid! something is totally wrong.
Many questions have been raised over this unfortunate episode which has exposed the country to the fact that it is not prepared even after learning from the Garissa University incident and whether really or stagemanaged. It beats logic of many Kenyans why a life had to be lost in a mere drill because someone decided to go solo and even never bothered to inform the head of the institution and police headquarters.
The contradicting reports from Vigilance House that police were not aware of the drill yet the Langata OCPD Elijah Mwangi was at the scene during the time the drill was being carried out clearly shows something went amiss. Was the OCPD aware of the drill but decided not to inform his bosses for obvious reasons hoping that all would go on well?
Why did Mwangi not inform county police commander Benson Mwangi of the drill? The Langata Road Primary School saga over alleged grabbing of the school’s land in which Mwangi was involved saw young school pupils being teargassed in January and he was subsequently interdicted.
So, what would have exactly happened if the security agencies that were caught unawares of the drill would have been dispatched to the campus for combat in a commando style believing that indeed, Strathmore was under attack? Would hell not have broken loose just because of the madness of one person?
Kenyans need an explanation from the Internal Affairs Unit and the Inspector-General at Vigilance House on what exactly happened, and where the flaws that led to death of Kidambi and the injury of over 20 students might have emanated from.
And why Mwangi would stage such a daring security drill without informing his seniors demands IAU Director Leo Nyongesa and police spokesman Charles Owino to come out with answers to convince Kenyans that indeed, the police reforms under the watch of National Police Service Commission are real and working out to secure Kenyans and the nation.

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