A night of Horror or what Kenyans came to refer as the black Sunday. The events of night of 13th-14th July 1991 at St Kizito secondary school in Meru county.

The death chamber that was a dormitory and the crazy deputy principal's remark to president Moi.

***Thread***
St. Kizito was a coeducational boarding secondary school in Akithii Location, Meru County. It was named after Saint Kizito. The school was established in 1968. Initially, it began as an all-boys school and began admitting girls in 1975.
By 1991 the school had 577 students, between the ages of 14 and 18 – 306 boys and 271 girls. A combination of gender, that proved to be tragic and one that would cause stress and trauma for the longest time possible.
On the night of 13th July 1991, students, particularly boys, went on rampage, as they complained that they had been humiliated when the school administration failed to pay the fees necessary for their participation in an interschool athletic competition.
In previous weeks, the students from various schools in Meru district, had riots that ranged from bad food to no running water. The Weekly Review newspaper done by the late Hillary Ng'weno reported that Kirogo Secondary School students,rioted burning buildings,....
invaded a girls' dormitory and "raped several of the girls, an incident that would be repeated at St Kizito, few weeks later. At another school, the boys were so upset at the food that they dumped the cook in a vat of porridge.
In July 1991, at St Kizito, the boys decided to stage a strike against the school administration led by the then principal Mr. James Laiboni. The girls refused to join the planned strike, an action which infuriated the boys, who began to threaten them with physical violence.
The angry male students planned to teach the girls a lesson. To carry out their plan, they cut the electricity supply to the girls' dormitory causing a temporary blackout, then they went ahead to disconnect the phone line, so that no distress calls would be made.
A school worker said,some of the boys who were covered in sheets & armed with flashlights,headed to the girls dormitory,apparently to pick the girls whom they suspected of having sexual relations with sch officials, as well as teach them a lesson for rejecting the planned strike.
Just after 9pm,the first clue that madness had broken out at the boarding sch appeared when Massimo Ballottino's house,the administrator of the Tigania hosp,went dark.The boys began screaming & throwing rocks at the girls' dorms.The dorms were made of cinder block & had tin roofs
The girls retreated to one dormitory, which had metal bars on the windows. The boys broke the windows with rocks and continued to terrorize the girls by tossing a barrage of rocks onto the tin roof.
Just before 2 a.m., the Rev. Alexander Kiranja, who ran a mission next door to St. Kizito, was awakened by "a most serious knocking" on his door, he said. It was the terrified watchmen,who told Kiranja that the boys were on a rampage and had threatened them with death by stoning.
Kiranja had no phone, so he took the watchmen next door to the hospital to call police. The priest said he did not go to the school with the watchmen and try to restore order. They feared to enter the school when the boys are unruly.
Back at school, The 271 girls of St. Kizito stuffed themselves into one dormitory. As the boys battered the door in an attempt to get to them, the girls rushed to the far corner of the room. The door finally, gave way and the boys rushed in.
"We were attacked as if by a pack of hungry hyenas," one girl later told reporters. The girls packed themselves into one corner. It was at this corner, where majority of the dead bodies, were found.
Around 3am, two girls managed to escape & run to the hospital. "They were in shock when they arrived," said John Mutembei,a clinical nurse on duty that night. "They said there was a riot at the school & boys were beating them.They complained of pains & said they had been raped."
By 3:30, the hospital was overflowing with injured girls. Finally the police arrived and went to the now-deserted school. Ballottino drove an ambulance to the school with the police.
They discovered the 19 bodies piled atop. "I have never seen anything like it," Ballottino said. "It was like civil war. There were bodies everywhere.They were already stiff. The doc said they had been dead about 3 hours."
Autopsies showed that none of the dead had been raped.
On that day, 14th July 1991, president Moi decided to go to Meru district himself, and see the shocking horror that had left the whole nation in grief. Demanding the closure of the school, as 39 boys were apprehended in connection to the strike, rapes and death of the girls.
Three things shocked the nation, following the investigation into the St Kizito horrors. The Principal's revelation, the deputy principal's remark to President Moi and the saddest part, the police contribution in the whole event.
The principal, James Laiboni, told the reporter for The Kenya Times, "In the past, the boys would scare the girls out of their dormitories and in the process they would get hold of them and drag them to the bush where they would 'do their thing' & the matter would end there, ....
... with the students going back to their respective dormitories."

Basically, the principal was trying to tell the nation, that rape was just a norm around the school and it was a known secret.
The deputy principal, Joyce Kithira, was quoted by the same Kenya Times, as having told President Daniel arap Moi that "THE BOYS NEVER MEANT ANY HARM AGAINST THE GIRLS, THEY JUST WANTED TO RAPE." Yes, you read that right.
The saddest part of the St. Kizito story is that it could have been prevented if police had reacted more quickly to reports of a disturbance at the school. Several teachers who board at the school could have stopped it but were too terrified of the 306 male students.
Two night watchmen, armed with bows and arrows, did not attempt to stop the assault on the girls' dormitory because the boys stoned them and chased them off.
And what of the police? About midnight,two teachers managed to escape the school grounds & run to a police station,15 minutes from the sch.
Two hours later the police still had not arrived, and the watchmen called the station from a nearby hospital where they had run for safety.
"The police said they were aware of the situation, but they said they had no petrol & couldn't come," said Massimo Ballottino, who later said the police finally arrived about 3:30 a.m. By then it was too late since a total of 19 girls were already dead

The obvious police claim.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with KENYAN🇰🇪 HISTORY🇰🇪

KENYAN🇰🇪 HISTORY🇰🇪 Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @historykenya101

5 Jul
HOW TOM MBOYA ASSASSINATION TRIGGERED FEAR OF A CIVIL WAR IN KENYA IN 1969. And the the downfall of the Kikuyu and Luo relationship.

Tom Mboya died 52 years ago today .

***Thread***
52 years ago, as the body of Tom Mboya, the assassinated Minister for Economic Planning, lay in a simple plush-lined casket beneath a yellow hibiscus tree in Lavington, an emergency Cabinet meeting was hurriedly convened by President Jomo Kenyatta in Gatundu.
The agenda included funeral arrangements and the security situation as violence spread throughout the country.There were fears that the assassination could exacerbate ethnic divisions, leading to a civil war.Despite the heavy deployment of GSU personnel, ethnic clashes continued.
Read 35 tweets
24 Jun
Have you ever wondered why the sons and daughters of the colonial chiefs and guards who were collaborators live a good life while those of the MAU MAU fighters live in abject poverty?

***THREAD***
It should be known that the colonialists reached a point that they knew they had 2 leave Kenya since they couldn't handle the Mau Mau war & the world was moving toward accepting independent Africa.However,the colonialists devised an evil scheme that still eats Kenya upto this day
Under this scheme, the colonial state came up with a plan that saw the first crop of chiefly “big men” being empowered financially to take their children to schools and eventually have those children go to England for further studies...
Read 32 tweets
9 Jun
THE MOVIE THAT KENYA WAS.

You have heard of the 1982 1st August attempted coup in Kenya & that it was led by Senior Private Hezekiah Ochuka and Sergeant Pancras Oteyo Okumu who led a group of other air force soldiers.

But do you know how the coup was stopped?

***Thread***
It is troops that wage war and the Generals take the credit but there is one former military gen who did both - he led from the front on the ground & got credit for the victory.The story of General Mohamed cannot be told without talking about the '82 coup attempt.
The casual manner in which the coup was planned makes it a laughing stock at any military academy on the planet.

The junior officers' body of plans made a perfect blueprint of how not to stage a coup.

But let's start from the beginning....
Read 69 tweets
8 Jun
THE HANDSHAKE THAT NEVER WAS...

Did you know apart from the golden handshake between Raila Odinga & Mwai kibaki in 2008 & the March 9th 2019 handshake between Raila Odinga & Uhuru Kenyatta,there was another attempted handshake of 1978 that failed? Why did it fail?

***thread***
After Kenya gained self rule in 1964, nobody imagined of a bitter divorce between the founding fathers of the nation Mzee jomo Kenyatta and his old friend jaramogi Oginga Odinga. The bitter fallout was caused by several factors that were precipitated by external forces.
Publicly it was known that Jomo and Oginga differed sharply on ideological differences in the line of capitalism and communism respectively. But apart from this there were deep propaganda information fed to Jomo.
Read 19 tweets
7 Jun
At 3 am on 1 Aug 1982 soldiers from the Kenya Air Force launched a coup against the govt of Daniel arap Moi

The airmen seized Eastleigh airbase & the Voice of Kenya in Nairobi.They called themselves the National Redemption Council

Clip is from the morning after
Via Kenyan facts
In an announcement--read by VoK's Leonard Mambo--they accused Moi of carrying out 'ruthless repression reminiscent of colonial days ... Moi's bandit gang is gone. People can now breathe'.

There was a great deal of looting in the CBD. Here's the cleanup the morning after.
Moi was in Kabarnet at the time of the coup, & much of the army leadership was in Lodwar.

A small group of officers stormed the VoK, & then the army fanned out in Nairobi, searching for Air Force men. At least 3,000 people were arrested; 100 soldiers were killed.
Read 4 tweets
4 Jun
After the abortive coup de 'etat of 1982, Raila Odinga was one of the major suspects, who ended up in police custody with tens of charges on them. Raila Odinga faced 11 charges and he was facing a treasonous case.

11 charges that Raila Odinga was slapped with.

***Thread***
The first charge was that, in mid-July 1982, at Nairobi, Raila loaned Senior PrivateHezekiah Ochuka his Peugeot 504, registration number KVZ 642, to assist him in making preparations to overthrow the government.
The second charge was that on or about the 18th day of July 1982, he visited the house of Senior Private Hezekiah Ochuka at Umoja Estate in Nairobi and discussed plans to overthrow the government with the Kenya Airforce Sergeant and others.
Read 13 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!

:(