By Amoto Dennis.
Given that some school fires have been attributed to errant students bent on ‘revenge missions,’ and therefore making to know where colleagues are at any particular time , the NyumbaKumi Initiative(NKI) chairman Joseph Kaguthi has called for introduction of NKI in schools.
“Spreading NKI in secondary schools could be the only and possible solution we have to sort out the problems as students will not only know the whereabouts of collogues, but will also be each other’s keeper,’’ said Kaguthi.
However, critics of NKI argue that it has so far failed to achieve most of the goals it was set up for during its launch five years ago.
The initiative was set up in October, 2013 to serve as a forum where people in villages and estates in urban areas were required to know their neighbours in a bid to ensure public participation in security programmes.
The initiative was formed in response to a string of terror attacks, gang violence and robberies around the county.
According to research conducted by the faculty of Social Sciences in 2014, of Egerton University , one of the many challenges faced by NKI is corruption in the police force as they collude with criminals due to their inept resources.
Although Kaguthi said that introduction of NKI in schools could curb casesof school fires and violence that has led to deadly carnage, his critics dismiss his stand saying that introduction of the initiative is retrogressive.
“Its tantamount to reintroducing the old school spy system in institutions of higher learning such institutions were awash with then special branch officers, whose sole duty was to report on dissidence against the one finger salute government,’’ said Mohamed Dagane in Garissa.
Dagane said that trying to pry on other students affairs is simply outlandish because each and every person has right to privacy.
“Since the constitution gifts each and every student the right to privacy, let there be a system that can sort out causes of the problem ,instead of spying on the fellow students ,’’ said Dagane.
He added that instead of spying on each other the authorities ought to look at wider societal rot where police men shoot wives/girlfriends, parents molest their children. He added that all sorts of ills appear to be the norm in the society despite the presence of NKI since 2013.
“Introducing the NKI would be like treating an ailment with painkiller,’’ said Dagane who didn’t rule out fellow students giving false information against their rivals for this or that reason to settle scores.
Dagane accused Kaguthi, a former provincial administrator under the dictatorial one finger salute regime of living in the past in the yester year’s regime.
“Then village headmen held sway in the village, whereas the chief was king in the location, now renamed sub ward under the new 2010 constitution and teachers appointed school prefects,’’ said Dagane.
He said that in the era of children’s government measures are in place to handle handle any challenges.
Dagane added that it would be truly cruel to have Nyumba Kumi Initiative prying and lording it over the lives of students in school.
However, on a more proactive and accommodative scheme Dagane challenged Kaguthi to let the NKI work in the villages before been transferred in other institutions like schools.